Author Topic: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?  (Read 23890 times)

Offline julesnyc

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2008, 04:09:10 PM »
Or buy coffee from independent coffee shops not located on 37th Avenue! perhaps on 77th Street...

Cheers!
Julie from Espresso 77

Offline kate

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2008, 05:11:25 PM »
I beg to differ with you. There is NO shortage of housing in New York. There is, however, a shortage of affordable housing in New York. And, if it wasn't for the combination of rent control/stabilization laws, and the younger generation's willingness to share living space, this City would be totally void of all but the wealthy!

Agreed, well put.

Offline John Prester

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2008, 11:47:36 AM »
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote from: NYCMacUser on January 22, 2008, 11:47:22 PM
I beg to differ with you. There is NO shortage of housing in New York. There is, however, a shortage of affordable housing in New York. And, if it wasn't for the combination of rent control/stabilization laws, and the younger generation's willingness to share living space, this City would be totally void of all but the wealthy!

Well, rather than engage in a pointless war of words, in which I "cut and paste" articles from websites to back up my claims, and you "cut and paste" articles to back up your argument, it's best that we "agree to disagree". 

I have my personal beliefs and ideas, as do you.  It's safe to assume that you're probably not an economist nor a researcher involved in studying housing/rent control regulations (I'm not), and you nor I have not spent years conducting controlled studies of the impact of rent control regulations on housing markets in various cities (New York, San Francisco, Cambridge, Mass., Berkeley, California, etc.), and are able to back up your claims with your empirical research. 

At the end of the day, our emotions and feelings are irrelevant to the issues, facts are.
Disco Dandy and Flâneur Extraordinaire

Offline NYCMacUser

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2008, 09:06:13 PM »
Well, rather than engage in a pointless war of words, in which I "cut and paste" articles from websites to back up my claims, and you "cut and paste" articles to back up your argument, it's best that we "agree to disagree".
[sarcasm]
No. I won't agree to any such thing! Not until the entire world agrees with everything I say! I like having my way. So what if that makes me a spoiled old lady? I didn't get this old by being stupid and wrong all the time. I got this old by being correct in everything I do and say. See, now if you want to agree with me about this, that's okay with me. Just be a nice person and say you agree with me, and maybe some day I'll bake you a cookie. You do like cookies don't you? Okay, then.
[/sarcasm]

Offline toddg

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2008, 11:27:15 AM »
Here's a recent article from Crain's New York Business about hard times on 74th Street...

Crain's New York Business
January 14, 2008
Enduring popularity might be Little India's undoing;
Established retailers pinched by rents in Jackson Heights commercial district
BY: Doaa Elkady

Thirty-five years ago, Subhash Kapadia opened the Sam and Raj appliance store on 74th Street in Jackson Heights.

Mr. Kapadia's business catered to Indians looking for small appliances that ran on 220 volts that they could take back to their native country. The only shop of its kind in the neighborhood, Sam and Raj was a hit almost immediately. Mr. Kapadia's accomplishment inspired other Indian-Americans to set up businesses in Jackson Heights; within 10 years, 74th Street was home to a number of Indian-owned eateries, clothing stores and an Indian grocery.

``That's how Little India was born,'' Mr. Kapadia says.

The Jackson Heights retail center is still one of the most well-known ethnic shopping strips in New York. But like other popular retail areas in the city, it is becoming a victim of its own success. Competitors are rushing in, driving up rents and displacing longtime merchants like Mr. Kapadia.

Now, the Little India that Mr. Kapadia helped build includes more than 250 businesses, according to the Jackson Heights Merchants Association. Visitors are inundated with the flash of colorful saris, the glitter of Indian jewelry and the robust smells of South Asian cooking. The streets are never empty. Parking is difficult. Stores are open late.

The strip's popularity and reputation have made Jackson Heights one of the choice locations for Indian-Americans to live and do business. But that has proved a double-edged sword for Little India's merchants, who have benefited from the phenomenon but who now face competitive pressures.

``For decades, business was so good we didn't know what to do,'' Mr. Kapadia says. ``But today, many of the businesses are struggling to stay open.''

Declining demand

Mr. Kapadia has suffered from increased competition, higher rents and declining demand among Indian-Americans for 220-volt appliances. ``It is a different age,'' he says. ``Most of what I sell is available in India now.''

Last year, Mr. Kapadia was forced to move into a 1,330-square-foot store from 2,300 square feet.

Across the street from Mr. Kapadia's store, Rajbhog Sweets is also hurting. Owner Nirval Shah's family opened the dessert shop in 1977.

``Business has been down since 9/11, but the pressure really began two years ago,'' Mr. Shah says. Profits fell 10% in both 2005 and 2006. He blames the downturn in part on a 50% jump in ingredient costs.

``Rents have always increased, but now we can't keep up with them,'' Mr. Shah says. ``You can't charge customers more just because it's more expensive to make food. This puts us at a loss.''

In the last five years, Mr. Shah has watched 15 to 20 eateries close; some of them had been in Little India for as long as 20 years. ``If things don't change, we may have to downsize or shut down,'' he says.

Niche is better

Some merchants, like Harshad Patel, manager of Patel Brothers grocery, say landlords are turning a blind eye to their plight.

``I pay $35,000 a month in rent,'' Mr. Patel says. ``I tell my landlord, `Profit is down; costs are up,' but he says, `It's not my business.' ''

Not everyone is complaining, though. Niche retailers face less competition. Armaan Kumar, who sells traditional Indian wedding apparel at Armaan's Bridal, says serving a limited market helps him remain profitable.

``People will never stop getting married,'' Mr. Kumar says. ``When the economy's down, you have to be smart about what you're selling.''

There's no evidence that the district is in jeopardy, says Swain Weiner, senior director of sales at Massey Knakal Realty Services.

``Retailers are facing difficulties, but Little India has suffered less than places in Elmhurst or Corona,'' Mr. Weiner says. ``There are no vacant stores. If a space opens up, lots of people bid on it. Turnover is very small. That says things are still healthy.''

That's little consolation to struggling business owners, who are now seeking rent protection. The City Council last introduced a commercial rent control bill in 1987. It fell one vote short of passing because of fears that it would discourage economic growth. Efforts to revive interest in such a law have been unsuccessful so far.

Offline Brian

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2008, 01:17:01 AM »
I really wish the Indian Merchants on 74st would respect the community and  form BDI so that they would keep the street clean.  Does anyone know why Indian Merchants refused to form BDI?

Offline Shelby2

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2008, 01:34:13 AM »
Hi Brian, as the person who originally posted this topic, I just wanted to say that this thread is about the high cost of commercial rent in the neighborhood (and especially on 37th Avenue), not about the keeping the streets clean on 74th St.  It would be great if we could keep this thread on topic so it's easier to follow.  I know you have brought up the issue of street conditions on 74th St in other threads, so perhaps you could add to those other already existing threads if you have more to say on that issue.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 01:39:47 AM by Shelby2 »

Offline toddg

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2008, 11:44:23 AM »
While commercial rents in the historic district may be high, they're not necessarily as high in surrounding areas.  We're seeing a lot of new and innovative businesses open up on Roosevelt, Broadway, the Waldbaum's Plaza, and Northern Blvd

Perhaps we should be looking to these types of less charismatic, less expensive, and less central commercial strips for future innovation.  At least that's the argument made in a recent post on this topic over at Queens Central Blog: Why we need the hideous mini-mall.   Just a thought.

Offline Shelby2

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residents of Park Slope complaining about high commercial rents
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2008, 04:15:51 PM »
The commercial rents may be getting too high in prime Park Slope, too, according to this http://gowanuslounge.blogspot.com/2008/01/second-street-cafe-closing-followup.html

Some of the blog posters are predicting that there will be more spillover from 7th Ave to 5th Ave and to areas like Prospect Heights, where commercial rents are cheaper than the prime 7th Ave in Park Slope.

Offline willsweeney

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2008, 05:31:18 PM »
I saw a "for rent" sign up in a storefront on the north-side of 37th Avenue between 80th & 81st. I called the number and spoke with the broker. She told me that the space was already leased to a bakery.

I asked her, out of curiosity, what the space rented for. She quoted the rent at $4,200 per month. I am not sure about the exact square footage of the space, but it is comparable to its neighbor Yogurberry. I guess that gives us some idea of what commercial rent is on 37th Avenue right now. 

Offline toddg

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2008, 05:07:24 PM »
Here are current estimated average commercial rents in Manhattan:

5th Ave., 49th-59th Streets: $1,958/sq. ft.
34th St., 5th-7th Aves.: $656/sq. ft.
Broadway, Houston-Broome Streets: $424/sq. ft.
5th Ave., 14th-23rd Streets: $401/sq. ft.
Broadway, 72nd-86th Street: $384/sq. ft.
3rd Ave., 60th-72nd Streets: $329/sq. ft.
Broadway, Battery Park-Chambers St.: $198/sq. ft.
Average for Midtown: $145/sq. ft.
125th Street: $107/sq. ft.
Average for Midtown South: $96/sq. ft.

If anybody hears commercial rent estimates in JH, please try to find out floor area, too, so we can compare.

Offline meigui

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2008, 05:43:19 PM »
Thomas Shoe Repair on 37th. That is one of the last of the originals. I had a horrible sinking feeing this would happen. John is a genius when it comes to repairing a shoe

Offline spanishfish

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2008, 09:00:38 PM »
I happen to know some people at RKF, the retail brokerage firm. According to them, they plan to rent in new buildings  in Downtown Flushing for anywhere from $40-$100/sf; significantly less than Manhattan. I'd be interested to know what rents in Jackson Heights, Forest Hills, Astoria and LIC go for, as well as what rents are like in Park Slope, Fort Green, Cobble Hill.
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Offline Shelby2

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2008, 10:40:41 PM »
I happen to know some people at RKF, the retail brokerage firm. According to them, they plan to rent in new buildings  in Downtown Flushing for anywhere from $40-$100/sf; significantly less than Manhattan. I'd be interested to know what rents in Jackson Heights, Forest Hills, Astoria and LIC go for, as well as what rents are like in Park Slope, Fort Green, Cobble Hill.


You can do a search for available retail properties for lease in these areas on http://www.loopnet.com/ to find out what the $ per sq foot cost is.

Offline abee

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Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2008, 06:52:57 AM »
Thomas Shoe Repair on 37th. That is one of the last of the originals. I had a horrible sinking feeing this would happen. John is a genius when it comes to repairing a shoe

You sort of said this without context.... is he closing? closed? when? and, at the risk of being off topic, where can I get my shoes fixed if Thomas' Shoe Repair is closed?

Jackson Heights Life

Re: How can businesses afford the rent on 37th Ave?
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2008, 06:52:57 AM »