Cultural districts around the city that have large retail presences are increasingly drawing customers from the suburbs, helping to strengthen the city's economy, the director of the Center for an Urban Future, Jonathan Bowles, said yesterday.
As many as half of the weekend customers who visit retail strips in places like Flushing and Jackson Heights, Queens, are from out of town, Mr. Bowles said.
"This is a relatively untapped asset for the New York economy," Mr. Bowles said. "We need to start thinking differently about these districts."
Growth of these localized economies is being stifled by a lack of business improvement districts and adequate transportation to parts of the outer boroughs, Mr. Bowles said. He made his points in a policy brief titled "Recapturing Suburban Shoppers."