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Letter from the editor

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I read a sobering opinion piece this week from a New Yorker entitled "NYC is dead forever... here’s why".

The piece details why the writer, James Altucher, believes New York will never come back from the devastation of the pandemic.

He speaks about restaurants that have closed their doors forever, how people left the city for hard lockdown meaning to return but just have not, how broadband changed everything, allowing people to work from wherever they are, and he speaks about rental costs collapsing, in some cases they are up to 50% less than they were before Covid.

He believes the anti-Covid strategies have been a death knell for the city. Many cities are going through similar upheavals where the illusionary structures they were built on collapsed in less than four months. Many people may not go back to their offices, and one only has to look at boarded-up store fronts to see that this is also a reality on our own shores.

But unlike Altucher, I am more optimistic. Firstly, because I spoke to a New Yorker in Greenwich this week who said the place is already making a comeback, but mostly because I spent some time with estate agents recently who say coastal areas always have a quick turnaround when it comes to recovery.

My time spent with the SA Institute of Black Property Professionals also left me buoyant and excited as we reimagined the townships post-pandemic. We have many opportunities now to reinterpret property and perhaps even improve on it.

If making a comeback means returning the same as we were before, maybe a comeback is not what we need! Please email me and let me know how you’d like to reimagine property and how we can do things differently to emerge triumphant when this is all over.

Warm regards

Vivian Warby


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