Eric Adams calls bankers back to offices as city faces mixed recovery

Mayor spoke at Goldman Sachs town hall

New York /
Mar.March 09, 2022 11:20 AM

From left: Eric Adams, mayor of New York City; David Solomon, chief executive officer, Goldman Sachs (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

Eric Adams has a mission: bring office workers back to New York City.

The mayor made an appearance at Goldman Sachs’ headquarters on Monday, Bloomberg reported. The town hall meeting was closed to press, but Adams planned his visit to tell employees to rely less on remote work and more on in-person operations.

After the meeting, Adams lamented that Goldman Sachs had just “a couple of thousand employees” working in person, Bloomberg reported.

Goldman has emerged at the forefront of New York financial institutions welcoming workers back to the offices during the pandemic. The bank was among those giving employees the option to work from home at the beginning of the year as the city coped with a surge of cases linked to the Omicron coronavirus variant.

But COO John Waldron was hinting at return-to-office plans by the end of January, when about 20 percent of the company’s U.S. employees were already back in the office. According to Bloomberg, employees began regularly coming back in February.

The focus on the city’s office market has ramped up as authorities ease mask and vaccine restrictions with an eye on encouraging tourists and workers to return.

As Adams noted, businesses reliant on office workers have endured struggles during the pandemic. Retail vacancies approached 30 percent by the end of January.

Residential neighborhoods also saw high vacancies for storefronts, but generally fared better than office-dependent areas.

The office picture in the city also appears to be trending in the wrong direction. Manhattan office availability last month hit a peak, slightly under 94 million square feet of office space available to rent. The availability rate reached 17.4 percent, up 74 percent from the start of the pandemic, according to a Colliers report.

[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner





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