Showing posts with label small business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label small business. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

An idea for this 'vacancy hotspot' on Avenue A

Per our lead post from Monday, there's a new report titled "Crisis and Adaptation: Storefront Trends in the East Village, 2019 – 2021." 

As noted, there are many takeaways from the 20-page report, including a section titled "vacancy hotspots."

Among those: The retail spaces in the NYCHA-owned First Houses on Avenue A between Second Street and Third Street. Three of the seven Avenue A-facing storefronts remain vacant and have been for years.

The report offers this recommendation:
Urge the NYCHA to make their vacant spaces on Avenue A available for vendor markets, micro-entrepreneurs living in NYCHA developments, and local businesses more generally.

We don't know why the city/NYCHA hasn't made more of an effort to lease these high-profile spaces.

The other two vacancy hotspots are the retail spaces at Steiner East Village on Avenue A between 11th Street and 12th Street (for lease signs have been posted for the past four years) and the renovated storefronts at 250 E. Houston St. 

The report, released by the Cooper Square Committee, Village Preservation and East Village Community Coalition, provides a deep dive into the neighborhood's commercial landscape that builds off of the 2019 "East Village Commercial District Needs Assessment" to give a 2021 snapshot of the EV commercial district.   

Monday, August 1, 2022

Report explores East Village storefront trends from 2019-2021; vacancies on the rise

It's not your imagination: There are a lot of empty storefronts in the East Village. 

From 2019 to 2021, there was a 35% increase in storefront vacancies in the neighborhood. 

That's just one finding in a new report titled "Crisis and Adaptation: Storefront Trends in the East Village, 2019 – 2021." 

The report, released by the Cooper Square Committee, Village Preservation and East Village Community Coalition, provides a deep dive into the neighborhood's commercial landscape that builds off of the 2019 "East Village Commercial District Needs Assessment" to give a 2021 snapshot of the EV commercial district. 

The report identifies changes in the commercial district since 2019 and current challenges facing the small businesses in the neighborhood, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report's authors say it depicts a picture of survival amidst ongoing challenges that have led to the closure of numerous local businesses.

The findings are based on an on-the-ground survey conducted in the fall of 2021 that recorded business information or vacancy status for all first and second-floor storefronts in the East Village. In addition, the report draws on merchant experiences shared through a recent survey and interviews with small business owners. 

Among the findings:
  • Of the vacant storefronts observed in 2021, 171 are new vacancies and 149 were also vacant in 2019.
  • Medium and large landlords (6-60 buildings) own buildings with a majority of storefront spaces overall and own properties with disproportionately high rates of new vacancies, business closures since 2019, and persistent vacancies.
  • From 2019-2021, 336 businesses in the East Village closed while 261 new ones opened their doors.
  • Accommodation and Food Services businesses declined over twice as much as Retail Trade and all Other Categories, which remained relatively stable. Accommodation and Food Service establishments declined by 6%; Retail Trade businesses by 2%.
  • 13 businesses expanded in the neighborhood, and 17 relocated to new locations within the neighborhood boundaries.
The report concludes, in part:
Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the years from 2019 to 2021 saw a variety of changes to the East Village commercial district. The number of vacant storefronts in the neighborhood grew as many merchants struggled to keep their businesses afloat and some were forced to shutter their doors. 

While some business categories grew, others faced decline or remained stable. Growing businesses and 
These changes within the commercial district reflect the many challenges that merchants face during ordinary times as well as new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Respondents to the Merchant Survey reported that the top three challenges they face relate to their commercial rent/lease, finding skilled workers, and marketing/advertising costs. Other notable challenges that merchants face are gaining access to loans/credit/ financing and labor costs.

To overcome these challenges, it is essential that merchants in the East Village continue to receive small-business support and resources in order to ensure their businesses can prosper and grow.
There's a lot to unpack in the 20-page report, which you can read here. We plan to look at some other findings in the days ahead.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Baked Cravings opening an outpost on St. Mark's Place

The neon signage arrived yesterday for Baked Cravings, coming soon to 102 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue.

This will be the second location for the bakery that specializes in fresh-baked nut- and peanut-free cupcakes, cakes, brownies and cookies. (Founder Craig Watson has a daughter with food allergies.) Baked Cravings opened in East Harlem on Lexington at 105th Street in 2017.

The bakery takes over the space from Dun-Well Doughnuts, which concluded its three-plus-year run here in February.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

SOS: Local business owners discuss their COVID-19-related rent challenges

Save Our Storefronts (SOS), a coalition of East Village merchants and community members, is calling on New York State to enact commercial rent relief.

In this video, released yesterday, local business owners document the challenges they are facing with commercial rents during the COVID-19 pandemic...

Visit for more information on the campaign, including the petition that's in circulation.

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein and State Sen. Brad Hoylman are drafting a bill on commercial rent relief legislation, which they plan to introduce soon, to help create a path to small business and nonprofit recovery based on sharing the burden of the crisis.

According to a Hospitality Alliance survey, only 19 percent of New York City businesses paid June rent and only 26 percent of landlords waived any rent.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Report: Another city plan in the works to address NYC's retail vacancy crisis

[The former Bar Virage on 2nd at 7th]

A story to watch... and a story discussed around here.

Per Gothamist yesterday:

In an attempt to address the staggering number of empty storefronts across New York City, a Brooklyn City Council member [Stephen Levin] plans to introduce a landmark bill next week that would seek to regulate commercial rents.

How staggering? As NYC comptroller Scott Stringer's office recently reported, vacant retail space in the city nearly doubled these past 10 years, up to 11.8 million square feet in 2017 from 5.6 million square feet in 2007. During that time, Stringer's research found that retail rents rose by 22 percent on average across the city.

Which brings up: Whatever happened to the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which has been around since 1986 ... and after some high-profile support in November 2017, has languished in Council limbo for the past year...?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

More conversation about a Special Retail District for the East Village

Plans to adopt a proposal for a Special Retail District, which would limit the size and location of chain stores in the East Village, continue to move forward.

Tomorrow night, CB3's Economic Development Committee will discuss the following item: "Special district update and start framework for boundaries and restrictions."

The proposal for a East Village Special Retail District dates back nearly two-plus years.

As previously noted, a special district is an overlay used as a tool to supplement and modify the underlying zoning in order to respond to distinctive neighborhoods with particular issues and goals.

You can read more about special districts in this Q&A on the CB3 website here. In 2015, the East Village Community Coalition issued a report on "Recommendations for Formula Retail Zoning in the East Village."

The Committee meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. (this is the second item on the agenda), at the Lee, 133 Pitt St. at Houston. The meeting is open to the public, and you can sign up to speak for (or against) the proposal.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Public forum set to discuss special business district in the East Village

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Small Business Breakfast for East Village merchants

Tomorrow morning, the Cooper Square Committee and the East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) are hosting a Small Business Breakfast ... details via the EVG inbox...

Join us for breakfast and learn about available services and resources useful to your business.

As part of their work, Cooper Square Committee has joined with EVIMA to offer support and protection to independent small businesses

• Advocate for commercial tenants' rights
• Connect small businesses to high-quality free legal services
• Sponsor the annual Taste of East Village Festival
• Innovate small business policy with a city wide coalition of partners

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Cooper Square Committee HQ, 61 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Find more details here. RSVP here.