WATCH: Is the mayor’s vacancy tax bad for the retail market?

Idea would likely need Albany’s support to succeed

TRD New York /
Apr.April 18, 2018 10:40 AM

During one of his interviews with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was “very interested” in establishing a vacancy tax to penalize landlords who leave storefronts empty while seeking higher rents.

The Real Deal’s digital editorial director Hiten Samtani recently sat down with Rafael Pi Roman of PBS affiliate WNET-13 to discuss this proposal, and while he acknowledged that retail was struggling in the city, he said that landlords insisting on getting high rents were not the major culprit behind empty storefronts.

“I think that’s a little bit overblown, to be honest,” Samtani said, maintaining that a bigger factor is “Amazon or Jet.com, these big ecommerce giants who are taking a lot of the day to day shopping experience off the stores, out of brick and mortar and online, and we still haven’t figured that out.”

Samtani said de Blasio would likely have to go through Albany to actually get a vacancy fee implemented and cited a tax incentive for landlords who fill up empty storefronts as another possible solution to the problem.

TRD reported in October that retail was vacant in almost $1 billion worth of newly purchased real estate in Soho and counted 82 empty storefronts in July on the Upper East Side between 57th and 96th streets and Second, Third, Lexington and Madison avenues.

Watch the full interview between Samtani and Roman above. – Eddie Small


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out

WeWork’s side businesses are fizzling

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

City, state trade blame for NYC’s “broken” property tax system

Daily Digest Thursday

City Council sets sights on housing and land use, details emerge of WeWork’s ties to the Kabbalah Centre: Daily digest

From left: 254 Water Street, 45-01 Northern Boulevard and 34-08 46th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Here’s what the $10M-$30M investment sales market looked like last week

(Illustration by Andrew Colin Beck)

How much are NYC hotels hurting?

Home foreclosures dropped nearly 20% in Q3, report shows

arrow_forward_ios