Why Certain Sections of the Manhattan Skyline Are Completely Void of Skyscrapers

In an altitudinous episode of the Cheddar video series “Cheddar Explains”, the reasons why certain sections of the Manhattan skyline are completely void of skyscrapers is examined. For a long time, it was believed that underground bedrock prevented building in these areas (which would actually make it ideal), yet further research explains that it was more of a deliberate financial decision around location, foot traffic and rental income. Additionally, the geology of these blank areas makes it much more costly to drill, which only adds the financial side of the argument.

For a long time the conventional wisdom was that it had to do with the islands geology, but economists have made a compelling case that it’s not about rocks, but money….when you look at the skyline like an economist you see that skyscrapers are where they are because of the flow of people and money. Developers put their skyscrapers where demand was greatest so they could not only recoup their costs but also make a tidy profit on rental income.

NYC Skyline Gaps

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.