Author Topic: Article: Madison Ave, Hub, Jackson Heights could face rocky retail recoveries  (Read 519 times)

Offline Ms. Jackson

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This article ran in the Crain's Real Estate section.

Madison Avenue, The Hub, Jackson Heights could face rocky retail recoveries, report says

Three major retail spots in the city face different challenges as they look to recover from the pandemic downturn, according to a new report from HR&A Advisors.

The study, put together with tech startup Live XYZ, examined the strengths and weaknesses facing The Hub in the South Bronx, Jackson Heights in Queens and Madison Avenue in Midtown. Overall, the analysis suggested that The Hub would be the least resilient of the three neighborhoods, "unfortunately no surprise, given that this is also a low-income community of color," it said. But Jackson Heights and Madison Avenue could run into problems of their own.

HR&A looked at preexisting vacancy rates, the percentage of essential businesses that never had to close, chain stores that would likely be better able to absorb an economic hit, and businesses' abilities to take advantage of more relaxed outdoor seating rules.
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The Jackson Heights area was found to be best positioned for recovery based solely on vacancies with a pre-coronavirus rate of just 8%, according to the study. The Hub had a 12% vacancy rate, and Madison Avenue had a 14% vacancy rate.

The Hub had the highest percentage of essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies at 27%, followed closely by Jackson Heights at 26% and Madison Avenue at 15%. That such stores never had to close makes them more likely to survive and provides a point of strength for retail corridors to build on, the report said.

But Madison Avenue was best positioned to take advantage of the economic strength of chain stores and outdoor seating rules. The report found 30% of its businesses are chain stores, and 65% of its businesses have enough space to create sidewalk seating. Just 16% of businesses in The Hub are chain stores, and only 40% of them have enough space for sidewalk seating, the report found. In Jackson Heights, these numbers were 6% and 64%, respectively.

Sulin Carling, a principal at HR&A and an author of the report, said the chain-store issue was an interesting one, because neighborhoods essentially could be exchanging economic vibrancy for economic security.

“Madison Avenue with all of those chains, maybe they’ll fare better," she said, "but is that a good thing, if more of those small businesses fail and we have an even greater concentration of chains on Madison Avenue?"

Jackson Heights has a large amount of small immigrant-owned businesses that might have a hard time navigating red tape and recovery resources, for instance, whereas Madison Avenue could face a severe retail crisis if many of the neighborhood's former office workers switch to working from home more permanently or if enough Manhattan residents who left the city during the pandemic do not return, the report said.

"If people are going to shift to remote work, it actually may really not end up doing very well," Carling said of Madison Avenue, "and so as we talk about reopening, as we talk about all the different ways that we can support businesses and revitalize corridors, I think it's just going to be really important to see what’s happening on the ground."

The study took into account median household incomes in each of the neighborhoods. Those incomes were $21,000 for The Hub, $56,000 for Jackson Heights and $146,000 for Madison Avenue.

Offline abcdefghijk

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Basically this article has a clue what's going to happen.

Jackson Heights Life