City Council committee to consider commercial rent control next month

Mayor de Blasio doesn't appear to be a fan of the measure
September 18, 2018 09:30AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilman Corey Johnson at a town hall meeting (Credit: Getty Images)

A City Council committee next month will consider a bill that would entitle commercial retail tenants to a 10-year lease renewal if they meet the terms of their existing contracts.

The council’s Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, better known as the commercial rent control bill, Crain’s reported. Bronx Council member Mark Gjonaj, chairman of the Committee on Small Business, said the bill will be one of several business-related measures considered by the committee.

“New York’s mom-and-pop shops, who account for 80 percent of the city’s workforce, are struggling to keep their doors open,” Gjonaj told Crain’s. “This bill has been languishing for over three decades and it is long past time that it gets an open and fair hearing.”

Council Speaker Corey Johnson has shown support for the measure, but Mayor Bill de Blasio has indicated that it would grant undue control over commercial properties. The measure was first introduced more than 30 years ago, by then-Council member Ruth Messinger.

In August, a form of commercial rent control was introduced as part of the proposed rezoning of Inwood. It would force new mixed-use developments receiving $2 million or more from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to give commercial tenants a lease of at least 10 years “with limited rental increases.”

Earlier this month, the New York Bar Association released a report that the city is not backed by City Charter, state Constitution or state law to enact commercial rent control. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel