Thursday, January 5, 2012

Speaking of retail diversity: CB3 makes pitch for businesses other than bars

[Subway on Avenue B]

Community Board 3 has been working on a letter to send off to property owners and real-estate types with the aim of helping persuade local landlords to rent "to a diverse mix of commercial renters, not just to nightlife businesses, banks and chain stores."

The letter has been making the round in various inboxes... The Lo-Down posted the whole thing on Tuesday. Here's most of the letter from CB3 Chair Dominic Pisciotta:

Residents and business owners in CB 3 are working together to ensure the economic vitality of our neighborhood. We believe it is important to involve property owners in this planning as well. Among our chief concerns are maintaining economic diversity and serving local retail needs. Our community has a high demand for more daytime retail business such as grocers, butchers, shoe stores, stationery stores and other businesses that serve our local residents. Research and public input have indicated that our current condition of too many bars and eating/drinking businesses works against promoting a diverse economy.

We want to ensure that you as property owners are aware of these community needs and priorities and that you relay them to your prospective commercial tenants. It is important for new prospective businesses to understand community priorities and plans before finalizing leases and investing money. In this effort, we welcome your participation in our planning and outreach. Please consider the following factors before signing a lease with your next retail tenant:

• Business owners who live and participate in the neighborhood are considered more community‐ friendly than absentee owners.

• Businesses should have diverse price points for our diverse community.

• Businesses open during the day and that attract daytime street traffic are a current priority.

• Businesses that offer a product or service other than eating and drinking are a current priority.

Some areas in our neighborhood have been overwhelmed with bars and restaurants. Our community does not have the infrastructure to be an entertainment zone. CB3 recommendations to approve liquor licenses will reflect this. It is important and fair for potential businesses to be aware of these priorities and areas.

Let's hope that it does some good... in just the last week, we've seen two small restaurants close (Polonia and Itzocan Café) and two small businesses shutter (Vampire Freaks and the Autumn Skateboard Shop). ... and the arrival of yet another Subway...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Of the 147 storefronts on Avenue A, 70 of them are bars, restaurants or vacant


nygrump said...

Nice thought Pisciotta but about a 2 decades too late.

glamma said...

thanks for the good work CB3!!

Spike said...

Aren't the landlords they are writing to essentially "absentee owners" themselves?

Anonymous said...

It's a great idea but likely will not help. Landlords are going to get the most money for their buck. Maybe if we passed a law that the landlord has to live in the same building on the 2nd floor if they are renting a commercial space. Now that might do some good. They're always saying 'NIMBY' but really, who wants to be kept up all night.