2018-09-10 — nytimes.com
New York City's streetscape has been transformed -- visually and economically -- by the staggering numbers of vacant storefronts now dotting its most popular retail corridors. The Times set out with a panoramic camera to capture what this commercial blight feels like on the ground.
A survey conducted by Douglas Elliman found that about 20 percent of all retail space in Manhattan is currently vacant, she said, compared with roughly 7 percent in 2016.
While a commercial crisis might more likely be associated with periods of economic distress, this one comes during an era of soaring prosperity, in a city teeming with tourism and booming with development.
Particularly hard hit are gentrifying areas in Brooklyn and many of Manhattan's top retail strips in some of the world's priciest shopping districts, from Broadway in SoHo to Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side.
Yeah right, it's just a "period of prosperity" -- not a time of papered-over economic lacunae using cheap money...
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