“You can’t fix a problem when you can’t even begin to measure it,” says Gale Brewer, the President of the Manhattan Borough. That’s the problem legislators, small business owners, and landlords are facing today — not enough information about what’s contributing to retail vacancies across New York City.
In response to the hotly debated Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), Brewer established the Small Business Task Force. Charged with proposing a compromise to the SBJSA, Brewer selected Streetsense’s very own Managing Director of Research + Analysis, Larisa Ortiz, along with Senior Managing Director of Retail for CBRE’s Northeast Division, Ellen Rudin to join the task force.
The task force sought to get to the root of the problem to understand the cause of New York’s storefront vacancies. The result — the Storefront Tracker Bill, which gathers an array of data, compiling valuable information about rent prices, leasing information, and vacancies into a digital tool that will give legislators the resources to make more informed policy decisions. While New York City isn’t the first to create a tool like this, it is one of the most significant cities to do so, creating an unprecedented opportunity to understand the problem that is plaguing small business owners and how retail is changing in the most dynamic city in the nation.
This wealth of data is the first step in diagnosing and engineering solutions for citywide vacancy issues — stay tuned for more updates.
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