The move is on — to leave New York City.
The exodus that began at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, with many New Yorkers departing to their beach and country homes, has continued unabated as more leave for good, according to city moving companies overwhelmed by the avalanche of ex-pats.
“People are fleeing the city in droves,” says Moon Salahie, owner of Elite Moving & Storing in Yonkers, who has been working nonstop since the city began Phase 1 of its reopening in June.
Salahie said 90 percent of the moves are to the suburbs and mostly families with kids worried about the school year. He’s packed people out of neighborhoods all over Manhattan.
“The least movement would be the Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue crowds,” he said. “Those people don’t have to leave because they have second homes.”
The coronavirus shutdown pushed Fatine and Oussama Fatri out the door of their midtown apartment. Fatine Fatri described “being cooped up in the apartment, two kids, my husband having to work from home.
“Before you can take them out to the park, playground. Now, that’s not even possible,” said the mother of 4-year-old and 7-month-old daughters. “It was a nightmare.”
With the help of Elite Moving the family departed Monday for a three-bedroom home in Scarsdale with a separate office and a nice yard with a play set.
Mark Ehrhardt, owner of Gowanus-based Movers, Not Shakers!, said his company was busy in downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“All the kids are leaving,” he said. “The studios and one bedrooms are emptying out like crazy.”
Ehrhardt said he doubted the young people would return.
Noah Simon, 35, left his one-bedroom in Hell’s Kitchen on March 13 and went to stay with his mom in Hastings-on-Hudson. He moved out for good in May, just before his lease was up, and decided to buy a home in Westchester.
“To me, it was kind of a no brainer,” said Simon, a private wealth advisor for UBS. “I love the city. I also recognize that living there right now doesn’t have a whole lot to offer me.”
FlatRate Movers said the 100 moves a day it does in the city are very different from previous years.
“We used to move a lot of people from Brooklyn to Manhattan or Queens,” said David Giampietro, the company’s chief administrative officer. “Now it’s the mileage. We’re not going 5 miles anymore. It’s more like 20, 30, 40” to New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate.
More than 16,000 New Yorkers changed their address to Connecticut from March through June, the Hartford Courant reported.
United Van Lines and Mayflower movers said it had done 1,000 out-of-state moves from New York City starting in March, with 28 percent to Florida and California, and 16 percent to Texas and North Carolina.