New York City won't ever be the same place it was before the pandemic — and that's a good thing, according to a venture capitalist

  • Fred Wilson is venture capitalist and the principal and co-founder of Union Square Ventures. He also writes the blog AVC. 
  • In a recent blog post, republished below with his permission, Wilson wrote that while the short-term outlook for New York City is bleak, the city has a chance to turn the situation around and can exit the pandemic stronger than it was before.
  • With determined leadership, the city can be reimagined and revived to be more environmentally sustainable, have improved public transportation and schools, and be a place where artists can afford to live again.
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There is a lot of negativity around New York City right now. Bloggers writing sensational headlines. That sort of thing. It makes me want to go out and buy a ton of New York City stock right now.

It is certainly the case that many talented people are leaving New York City right now. It is also the case that the city is suffering from rising crime, filth, etc. And the city is in deep financial trouble and cutting costs everywhere it can. Commercial real estate is facing a huge crisis and residential real estate might not be far behind. Real estate tax revenues (which provide much of the New York City's income) will decline creating an even more difficult fiscal situation for the city. The short-term outlook for New York City is bleak. 

When companies go through this situation and their stock prices get clobbered, you have to ask yourself if the company is going to go out of business or not. If the answer is no, then the question becomes what price is the right entry price.

New York City is not going out of business. It will need a turnaround. It will need new leadership, which it will get. The pandemic will end. Restaurants, museums, Broadway, nightclubs, etc, etc, etc will reopen.

It won't be the same New York City that existed pre-pandemic. But that is a good thing.

New York City has sucked for the last decade or more.

Many people who can will leave forever. Rents will be lower (maybe a lot lower). Artists will be able to live in New York City again.

We have the opportunity to reimagine what New York City is. We can reimagine transportation, schools, policing, housing, construction. We can create an environmentally sustainable New York City. We can create an affordable New York City. We can create a better New York City.

But the first thing that has to happen is we need all the people who are afraid of all of this change to leave so those who are left can come together and create this better New York City. And thankfully, that is happening.

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).

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