Columbus Avenue mom-and-pop shops holding their own

June 28, 2010 09:30AM

Despite the city’s influx of large retailers and chains, the stretch of Columbus Avenue between 67th and 82nd streets has been largely spared from the invasion thanks to small footprints and landlords’ and residents’ unique support of mom-and-pop shops, according to Crain’s. Many of The Buildings On The Avenue are simply too small to fit national chains, which prefer Broadway’s large stores as opposed to the 500- to 1,000-square-foot storefront spaces available on Columbus, said Robert Quinlan, who owns 35 properties on the corridor and is chairman of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District. And that’s served landlords like Quinlan well during the recession: most small shop owners there survived the downturn — there are just two vacant storefronts in the Columbia Avenue BID — while other shopping strips have been besieged with vacancies. Asking rents have also held up: they are currently at almost $300 per square foot, relatively unchanged since two years ago. By comparison, Madison Avenue rents have dropped by up to 50 percent since 2007. [Crain’s]