Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, represents the central lengthwise portion of the borough and island of Manhattan in New York City. Midtown is home to some of the city’s most iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the headquarters of the United Nations, and it contains world-renowned commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square. Along Manhattan’s north-south long axis, Midtown Manhattan separates Lower Manhattan from Upper Manhattan.
Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the United States and ranks among the most intensely used pieces of real estate in the world. While Lower Manhattan is the main financial center, Midtown is the country’s largest commercial, entertainment, and media center; Midtown Manhattan is also a growing financial center, second in importance in the United States only to Lower Manhattan’s Financial District. The majority of New York City’s skyscrapers, including its tallest hotels and apartment towers, lie within Midtown. The area hosts commuters and residents working in its offices, hotels, and retail establishments; many tourists, visiting residents, and students populate the district. Some areas, such as Times Square and the Fifth Avenue corridor, have large clusters of retail stores, and Times Square is the center of Broadway theatre. The Avenue of the Americas holds the headquarters of three of the four major U.S. television networks.
Geographically, the northern border of Midtown Manhattan is commonly defined to be 59th Street on Manhattan Island, and although its southern border is less clear, it is variously taken to be 34th Street, 23rd Street, or even 14th Street. Midtown spans the entire island of Manhattan along an east-west axis, being bounded by the East River on its east and the Hudson River to its west.
In addition to its central business district, Midtown Manhattan encompasses many neighborhoods, including Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea on the West Side, and Murray Hill, Kips Bay, Turtle Bay, and Gramercy Park on the East Side. It is sometimes broken into “Midtown East” and “Midtown West”, or north and south as in the New York City Police Department’s Midtown North and Midtown South precincts.
A simplistic, and by no means comprehensive, list of the neighborhoods in the Midtown area is:
Midtown is the original district in the United States to bear the name and included historical but now defunct neighborhoods such as the Ladies’ Mile, along Fifth Avenue from 14th Street to 23rd Street; and the Tenderloin, from 23rd Street to 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue.
The border of Midtown Manhattan is nebulous and further confused by the fact that the term “Midtown Manhattan” can be used to refer either to a district or a group of neighborhoods and districts in Manhattan:
The area between 14th and 86th Streets includes roughly the center of Manhattan; however, the term Midtown Manhattan can also apply to the area between 31st Street and 59th Streets, although there are still office buildings south of 31st Street.
The “Plaza District”, a term used by Manhattan real estate professionals to denote the most expensive area of midtown from a commercial real estate perspective, lies between 42nd Street and 59th Street, from Third Avenue to Seventh Avenue, about a square kilometer or half a square mile.
“Midtown South” can refer to the part of Midtown between 23rd Street and around 42nd Street (although its northern boundary is defined differently depending on the source). Midtown South has considerably lower rents.
In 1982, the City of New York identified the “Manhattan Core” as the area that includes some of the City’s most populous neighborhoods, major institutions, parks and transit hubs, and the City’s primary Central Business District (CBD), defined as Manhattan below 60th Street. The “Manhattan Core” includes some areas slightly further north of 86th Street in Manhattan, as well as the area below 14th Street; however, this definition is problematic because it ignores the fact that Manhattan has not one but two zones in which people do business within this area separated by a wide swath of low-rise (by New York standards) residential development — there is Midtown (which is in Midtown Manhattan), and the Financial District, (also known simply as “Downtown” because of its location in Downtown Manhattan). In other sources these districts are referred to as separate central business districts.
Midtown Manhattan, along with Lower Manhattan, is one of the world’s leading financial centers.
Midtown Manhattan is the country’s largest central business district. It has the headquarters of major companies, including 4Kids Entertainment, Barnes & Noble, Bloomberg L.P., Ernst & Young, Calvin Klein, Cantor Fitzgerald, CBS Corporation, Citigroup, Colgate-Palmolive, Cushman & Wakefield, DC Comics, Deloitte, Duane Reade, Estée Lauder Companies, Foot Locker, Frederator Studios, JPMorgan Chase, Hess Corporation, Kroll Inc., L-3 Communications, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Marvel Entertainment, MetLife, MidOcean Partners, Morgan Stanley, NBC Universal, The New York Times Company, NexCen Brands, Pfizer, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Incorporated (Saks Fifth Avenue), The Sharper Image, Simon & Schuster, Six Flags, TBWA Worldwide, Thomson Reuters, Time Warner, Time Warner Cable, Univision Communications, and Viacom. The New York Institute of Finance is located in Midtown Manhattan.
Foreign subsidiary operations
Haier operates its United States offices in the Haier Building at 1356 Broadway; the building previously was a building of the Greenwich Savings Bank. Haier held the opening ceremony on March 4, 2002. Sumitomo Corporation operates its New York Office, the headquarters of the corporation’s United States operations, at 600 Third Avenue, 10016 in the Murray Hill neighborhood. El Al’s North American headquarters are in Midtown. The Air France USA regional headquarters are in 125 West 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Hachette Book Group USA has its headquarters in 237 Park Avenue. In 1994 Alitalia considered moving its USA headquarters from Midtown to Lower Manhattan, but decided to keep the offices where they were at the last minute. Global Infrastructure Partners has an office in Midtown Manhattan.
According to The Broadway League, shows on Broadway sold approximately US$1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013-2014 season, an increase of 11.4% from US$1.139 billion in the 2012-2013 season; attendance in 2013-2014 stood at 12.21 million, a 5.5% increase from the 2012-2013 season’s 11.57 million.
Biotechnology is emerging in Midtown Manhattan, bolstered by the city’s strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than US$30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of US$100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.
Former Economic Operations
American companies formerly headquartered in Midtown Manhattan include American Airlines, American Comics Group, American Overseas Airlines, Central Park Media, Eastern Airlines, GoodTimes Entertainment, LJN, NewKidCo, Pan American World Airways, Philip Morris Companies (now Altria Group), Trans Caribbean Airways, and Trans World Airlines.
Aer Lingus formerly had its United States offices in Midtown. In 1997, Aer Lingus announced that it was moving its North American headquarters to Melville, New York, in Nassau County (on Long Island).