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Downtown Is Home to as Many Young Professionals as Williamsburg: Report

By Irene Plagianos | October 13, 2016 5:49pm
 Young residents of  Lower Manhattan enjoy summer events on the streets of FiDi.
Young residents of Lower Manhattan enjoy summer events on the streets of FiDi.
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Downtown Alliance

FINANCIAL DISTRICT —  Lower Manhattan may not exactly be the new Williamsburg, but the neighborhoods now have just about the same number of young professionals, a new report finds.

There are now more than 30,000 people between the ages of 18 to 44 living in Manhattan below Chambers Street — which includes the Financial District, South Street Seaport and Battery Park City, according to a survey from the Downtown Alliance, a development advocacy group.

That's more young people than the East Village or Downtown Brooklyn, and just about on par with Williamsburg, which also has around 30,000 residents in that age bracket, the report says.

But while Lower Manhattan's young population is on the rise — with 70 percent of those residents falling into the millennial category — there aren't enough places for them to spend their money on food, drinks and entertainment in the neighborhood, the alliance said.

With a median household income of $160,000, those young Downtown professionals spend about $356 million annually on dining and entertainment experiences, but 55 percent of this spending happens outside the neighborhood, the report finds.

While lots of new shops and restaurants are starting to open in Lower Manhattan, the Alliance survey finds that Downtown residents want other local options, particularly in the nightlife scene — such as more bars, more restaurants and more intimate spaces to hear live music, comedy or other shows.

"Lower Manhattan is more vibrant and diverse than ever, and this report really captures how the movement Downtown has created an opportunity for businesses," said Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance.

"In the last year alone, we've opened nearly 200 new stores and restaurants and it's clear that there is a growing demand for new places that speak to our young residents."

The data for the report was drawn from 2014 census numbers. Residents within the 18-44 age group were surveyed, but it wasn't immediately clear how many people participated.

See the full report here.