Happy new Year!
Just today I was walking down third ave from 75 st to 67 st and MY GOD i noticed 10 vacant stores in 8 blocks! I have not checked upwards from 75st to 90st yet. I have not seen this many vacant stores in quite some time. These stores make the avenue look – well – desolate & abandoned.
Why so many stores not rented yet? Well it could just be an aberration that many people went out of business at the same time and these stores will be rented quickly. It can be that retail is losing more and more steam as on-line stores become the go-to place to spend our money- how many of us actually shopped and spent a lot of money on 3rd and 5th ave? I for one always try to shop locally, but alas its not easy even when stores are a block away – Amazon is too simple and addictive! Or maybe retail operations are moving to other areas as the natural cycle of shopping, new buildings and new trends move the “happening” places elsewhere. Remember when you would not even park in Williamsburg, Kent ave what or all the way up 3rd ave where the street numbers turn into names? Well, these areas are all being developed with new massive buildings, water ways ( you can now row boat in the canal – my lord remember when it was “perfume bay”?) and of course kitchy restaurants in old buildings, heck they are not even renovating, just putting tables and cooking!
The natural migration cycle of neighborhoods has moved from 3rd ave to other areas – let them enjoy the boom as we did when our turn was our turn!
Does this mean 3rd ave is dead? No, just evolving and we as business owners MUST adapt to these changes or go out of business.
How can we adapt? Renovating out tired restaurants, maybe opening a popup in the trendy areas, offer unique services and products, keep our stores clean, early to bed, early to rise work like hell and advertise!
The Effects of so many vacant stores
What are the effects of so many vacant stores to our property values and rentals?
More vacancies, means potential renters have more choices thus lowering the rents. Property values can suffer since expectations of rentals to defray operating costs is lower. So the more vacancies, the less in rent we can collect while our property taxes, water bills, heat, insurance ad nauseum continue to rise.
A viscous cycle.
Will a BID address these issues? Will a BID decrease vacancies? It has not on 5th ave even after they spent over $3 million since inception. It has not in the other 2 BIDS i am also fighting in NY – of which they asked for a $250,00 per year increase!
BIDS are almost impossible to shut down! How do we know? Because the 2 NY BIDS we have 62% of the people wanting out YET the board will not allow it to be shut down, citing wind down costs of over $500,000 over 3 years.
Say no the 3rd ave BID – use that money to invest in your business NOT giving it to others to waste!