Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thoughts on 'the twin plagues of vacancy and the mall-ification' of NYC

The Architect's Newspaper takes a deep dive into a popular topic in a post titled "What’s being done — or not — to save Manhattan’s small businesses from Amazon and big box competition."

To some excerpts...

High rent, high taxes, regulations that favor owners over tenants, and plain old capitalism — the incentive for owners to seek their property’s maximum value, and the consumer’s desire to acquire goods at the lowest price — all contribute to the twin plagues of vacancy and the mall-ification (national chains displacing small, local businesses) of Manhattan. Stakeholders, though, disagree on what should be done to solve a growing crisis at street level.

And...

It’s not only high rents and taxes that are driving businesses to close. Online shopping is slaying retailers big and small, in Manhattan and the suburbs and beyond. Right now, unchecked real estate speculation and limited protections for small-business owners mean that there is little protection against ultimately having a national bank and pharmacy on every corner.

Find the article here.

H/T The Lo-Down!

6 comments:

shimmerstwo said...

sadly this is unstoppable
market prices drives the economy no matter the consequences

Anonymous said...

@shimmerstwo
market price can be controlled by government and was common until recently when NY State officials where bribed by the landlords to lift regulations in rent control and other housing. the sad truth we are living in an age of capitalism run amok, without a leash, without oversight meaning the worst in human nature will make most people suffer to profit the few. societies need planning, enough freedom to grow and create but laws and control must be kept in place to keep a balance. think of NYC as a garden once filled with a large variety of plant species which made for a spectacular vibrant place. now remove the gardeners and see what happens, the strongest plants will expand and strangle the roots of the smaller plants, we end up with a dull monoculture of sameness soon enough.

sophocles said...

I like your garden analogy. Eventually the weeds will take over and there will be nothing good left.

Anonymous said...

I think we are well on our way to the "dull monoculture" already, and I see no indication that it will ever go back in the other direction, b/c developers are not interesting people and they only care about $$$$ for the most part.

They don't know, or care about, or see a "neighborhood" - they just see $$$$ in their bank accounts.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have Starbucks, Staples, Pearl Vision or Chase any day than the 13 Steps, Cooper Craft, or 16 Handles which add to the problem of underage drinking, over-serving, cigarette tossing, trash tossing, loud, disrespectful customers with no regard for anyone but themselves. If only CB3 would stop issuing approvals for bars that apply for liquor licenses.

Anonymous said...

"without a leash, without oversight meaning the worst in human nature will make most people suffer to profit the few."

Bind them with the "chains of the Constitution" as Jefferson said? Yeah, well, see how that turned out. How can selfish criminals oversee selfish criminals and expect anything other than selfish criminality? It starts with you. And if you're not up for the job, who is?

"think of NYC as a garden once filled with a large variety of plant species which made for a spectacular vibrant place. now remove the gardeners and see what happens, the strongest plants will expand and strangle the roots of the smaller plants, we end up with a dull monoculture of sameness soon enough."

Well, what you're describing here is unnatural so it's no wonder than as soon as tempering forces are removed Nature takes over with no regard for anything other than brute force. It's a jungle out there, mate, not a garden. The Garden, as you'll recall from the Story, was a place of ignorance. Moreover, this is the problem with this kind of feel good theorizing; the "law and order" and "concern for the little guy" can only ever be instituted by those who are above the law and those with the might and willingness to violence (i.e. pruning the strong plants in favor of the weak) to create your orderly little garden.

Gardeners are as far removed from the plants in this scenario as Gods are to men, and that's about the only thing that will make this plot work. Good luck with that!