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Mon Jan 14, 2019, 08:04 AM

N.Y. Today: Can Anyone Solve the Vacant Storefront Problem?

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/nyregion/newyorktoday/new-york-news-vacant-storefronts.html

As you walked to the train this morning, you probably passed an empty storefront. Perhaps even two or three.

These empty storefronts are representative of businesses that disappear as a result of rising rents and the popularity of online retailers.

It’s a troubling trend we looked at in September, and it seems to be getting worse.

Recently, Cornelia Street Café in the West Village closed after four decades, thanks to a rent increase, the owners said.

I don't see a tax on landlords as being the solution to this issue, but in concert with other ideas (including reducing sales taxes or at least not hiking them further) communities across the country may be able to assist local Retailers to hang on.

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Reply N.Y. Today: Can Anyone Solve the Vacant Storefront Problem? (Original post)
Sherman A1 Jan 2019 OP
Buckeyeblue Jan 2019 #1
brooklynite Jan 2019 #4
Flaleftist Jan 2019 #2
marble falls Jan 2019 #3
zanana1 Jan 2019 #5
Trumpocalypse Jan 2019 #6
Flaleftist Jan 2019 #7
safeinOhio Jan 2019 #8
crazycatlady Jan 2019 #9
cbdo2007 Jan 2019 #10
DeminPennswoods Jan 2019 #11
Sherman A1 Jan 2019 #12

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 08:12 AM

1. Where I live it's less about rent and more about the super stores

And Amazon.

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Response to Buckeyeblue (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 08:43 AM

4. NYC has a very energetic local retail industry...

...the challenge is landlords who see gentrification as an opportunity to hold out for higher end retailers.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 08:29 AM

2. Increasing rent to the point your tenant can not afford to pay

and goes out of business, leaving you with an empty building and no tenant seems pretty stupid.

Maybe landlords can allow business to stay in exchange for a percentage of their sales, with the understanding that if someone does come along who is able to pay the desired rent they have x amount of time to vacate.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 08:38 AM

3. Take away the tax incentive for waiting for a tenent with deep pockets.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 08:45 AM

5. Artists should be able to display their works in storefronts. nt

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 08:55 AM

6. I live in NYC and have seen this happen

 

over and over. A barber, a bakery or other small business that has been there for years suddenly has their rent doubled or tripled and forced out of business. The storefront then remains vacant for years. Why? Isn’t the landlord losing money? No. They are getting a tax write off at the higher rent for having a vacant property.

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Response to Trumpocalypse (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 09:16 AM

7. It sounds like those tax laws need to be changed.

Like the write off has to be based on the last amount of rent that was actually paid for the property and not the 3 or 4x amount a few nearby locations might get or maybe just get rid of them completely. I'm not sure how you can really say that X amount is the market rate when there are so many vacant storefronts and only a handful of retailers can pay that rate.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 09:38 AM

8. I see the biggest retail trend to be resale.

Empty buildings and low rent makes them multiply all over. I had a antique store in a small SE Michigan town. Was doing ok until my rent went from $250/monty to $1,500/month and had to close. 3 others in the town had to also. That store front changed business about every year or two until a bar moved in.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 10:16 AM

9. It is not just NYC

I was walking in town yesterday and at least 40% of the Main St storefronts were empty.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 10:24 AM

10. Here in the midwest, the builders get such huge financial incentives to keep building...

strip malls, without a way to prove they are wanted/needed so we just keep having more and more stores move in for a few months and then the rest of the strip mall will be empty, but the builders get huge tax breaks to keep building new stuff, and don't have to take on any of the financial burden to fill the stores. It's all a scam around here.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 10:26 AM

11. Happens even in small, beat down, rust belt towns

A local dollar store that had only recently rehabbed and moved into a former thrift store closed suddenly when the building's owner unexpectedly raised the rent. This in a depressed town that has trouble selling or renting buildings and has many empty storefronts on main street.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 14, 2019, 06:21 PM

12. I saw a similar occurrence nearby

The Barnes and Noble closed in the strip center due to a rent hike buy the developer. The store front has remained vacant for a good 5 years now. No it may not have survived much longer with the shifting sands underlying the Retail Sector and the book business, but rent was a big factor in the decision to close. The same center is losing Pier One, across the street Lowe’s has closed along with K-Mart, O’Charleys, Arby’s and a Shop n Save (Super Valu). Granted the were many factors in play, but that is a whole lot of Retail gone within 6 months.

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