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When David Letterman signs off later this month he will also be leaving a neighborhood that he helped sustain.

Now the neighborhood is a very different one than the one that existed when Letterman moved into the Ed Sullivan Theater.

The show brought a new buzz and vitality to the neighborhood, improving the business environment, and making storefront space more desirable. This, combined with the redevelopment of Times Square to the south, and a general increase in commercial rents citywide, began driving up rents as much as tenfold over the show’s 22-year run at the theater, some real estate officials estimate. The Mom and Pop stores of that earlier time are now mostly gone.

This New York Times piece talks of how Letterman benefited his neighbors in ways big and small.

It is a story of how a show helped a neighborhood.

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