The Real Deal New York

NYC still suffers from innumerable retail vacancies

Despite rosy reports, empty shops often mar the city’s streetscape
April 27, 2014 09:00AM

 Despite being one of the wealthiest places in the nation and a shopping mecca for millions of tourists, Manhattan still has more vacant retail space than anyone can count. 

One of Manhattan’s worst retail deserts is the corner of Third Avenue and East 61st Street, according to the New York Post. At the intersection, which is just one block north of Bloomingdales, three of four corner stores are empty.

“It’s Bloomies country, but for some reason the blocks to the north have always been challenging,” Douglas Elliman retail leasing broker Faith Consolo told the Post.

Moreover, women’s apparel purveyor Coldwater Creek will soon close the doors to its store on nearly a full block at Third Avenue and East 68th Street, adding a massive vacancy to the area. [NYP] Christopher Cameron

  • Lower the rent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you shmucks!
    I don’t get how landlords would rather leave corners vacant than putting in a tenant that can make their numbers work. Its the anti-retail concept!
    It’s not like retailers are not interested in the space. Their just not interested in the price.
    Strong suggestion is to let these landlords condo off the retail and sell it.

    • ivan

      you know I agree with you on the condo concept. Yes the landlords are asking too much these days for commercial.

    • We need more housing

      “I don’t get how landlords would rather leave corners vacant than putting in a tenant ”
      If you don’t understand the simple economics of why these units are vacant then I suggest you do less posting and do more reading/working.

    • equitable subrogation

      how do you explain a landlord asking 25-50% below known rents on the block and in the neighborhood, being told that someone could rent their store in five minutes and then saying no when asked to do so, when the broker refuses to take down his sign but his voicemail box remains full for weeks so no one else can get in touch with the landlord?


    Agreed! This has NOTHING to do with a bad economy, skittish retailers and all the other nonsense mentioned above and everything to do with the fact that landlords are asking for TOO MUCH MONEY. PERIOD. Clearly, many of them are doing so well that they can afford to leave their storefronts empty for years on end.

    • Nestor Delgado

      “Landlords” (real estate speculators) and the banksters created this mess. The speculators bought and flipped and the banksters provided the ammunition easy mortgages. The crash of 2008 slowed this activity down a bit but since we are now in a “recovery” and the easy money is available again, the bubble is inflating again and now to cover the rents had to rise. In the end, if this weren’t outright bought, the flippers that own them will go into foreclosure and the problem will be alleviated that way. A more direct approach is to stop the money spigot available to the speculators by raising interest rates to 17% and beyond.

    • not all owners

      not every landlord is asking market and pay attention to the fact that a lot of retailers are going to brooklyn where the rent is higher but blaming manhattan landlords for unaffordability -there’s a lot of scapegoating of the landlord out there

      also, retail underperforms for some but for others, they are expanding like gangbusters so it is not across the board that rent is unaffordable

      the same site can have a series of failed restaurants but the one ramen shop with the killer recipe can open three in one year from the same first location

      That area is around the 59th Street bridge so if you are not destination shopping at Bloomingdale’s or work at Bloomberg, what are you doing wandering around there?

      59th Street and Lex exits into Bloomies’ basement or something similar. There’s no reason to walk outside.

      • 59th street bridge smog deters

        exiting commercial tenants frequently blame the landlord even with dishonest signage about their lease or their rent without providing details which might make you think twice about how your old haunt was charging you for their wares when they were paying a 1970s era rent

        while other tenants in the neighborhood are not underperforming and expanding even paying higher rents in other neighborhoods like Williamsburg and UES without complaint but no one makes the connection or takes what the underperforming tenants are saying with a grain of salt

        the end result is inappropriate mischaracterization of owners

        is that a decent thing to do to someone?

  • milton p

    And you think a sale of the asset will lead to a lower asking rent? Check the asking rent of recently purchased retail condo’s and get back to us.

  • Steven Kovex is the peoples voice-go visit them