For Prospective Businesses

The East 86th Street corridor offers a vibrant mix of commercial, residential and cultural activity. As the main crossroads of the Upper East Side, it is visited by millions each year. The gateway to Museum Mile, one of the world’s great cultural treasures, it draws large numbers of local and out-of-town visitors. The Lexington Avenue East 86th Street subway station is the ninth busiest in the city; more than 30 million people pass through it annually. The newly opened Second Avenue Subway has increased the number of visitors and the geographic area being served by mass transit on the East 86th Street corridor.

One of New York City’s major transportation hubs, East 86th Street is an ideal place to start or grow a business. Our community is home to many affluent families who are drawn by the wealth of amenities: the city’s finest schools, parks and activities for children. The estimated population between 81st and 95th Streets is over 100,000 and growing (Manhattan Chamber of Commerce 2009 estimate), while the entire Upper East Side has a population of 271,063 (2000 US Census). Median household income is $190,165. More than 50 well-respected public and private schools are located in the neighborhood, representing the greatest concentration of schools in the city. Nearly 60% of the population has college or graduate degrees; many work in professional services, financial services, and management. All of these factors make the neighborhood a most desirable location for business.

The corridor is currently experiencing a retail renaissance. Among the businesses that have opened here in the past two years are Brooks Brothers, H&M, Barnes and Noble’s Manhattan flagship store, l’Occitane’s flagship store, Le Pain Quotidien, Shake Shack, Sephora, Sabon,  Whole Foods, and Fairway. These businesses demonstrate confidence in the strength of our neighborhood. And, all have been met with crowds of eager customers flooding the stores and restaurants.

A Retails Needs Survey, commissioned by the Association, assessed the opinions of residents, visitors and businesses about the kinds of businesses needed in the area. The overwhelming consensus was that more quality food establishments, men’s and women’s clothing, and home furnishings and accessories stores are desired. Recently opened restaurants, including Sweet Green, Maison Kayser, and Shake Shack, have found customer volume to be consistently high since opening day, indicating there is indeed unmet demand for quality establishments. 

The Association is happy to work with businesses considering a location in our neighborhood. For more information, contact us.


Our Mission

To improve the quality of life along the East 86th Street corridor by: conducting research, education and advocacy projects which focus on quality of life issues; coordinating and involving residents, merchants, real estate owners, civic organizations, cultural institutions and other concerned citizens to foster community pride, civic participation and responsibility.