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Economy

The Manhattan Block Frozen in Peak Pandemic Time

Available retail spaces line an entire city block along Lexington Avenue — highlighting New York City’s slow pandemic recovery. 

Available retail spaces line an entire city block along Lexington Avenue — highlighting New York City’s slow pandemic recovery. 

Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Pop out of the 59th Street subway stop, walk across Lexington Avenue and hang a left to step back into peak-pandemic time.

There, you’ll find an entire block of vacant storefronts, three in a row, in what was at one point prime New York real estate. The Banana Republic that occupied the first corner closed its doors in early 2020. So too did the Gap that long held the spot next door and the Victoria’s Secret two doors down. Huge signs advertising their availability hang in the windows.