Vaping Stores: Piling On To The Retail Apocalypse

Three independent vaping stores in my area shuttered almost overnight.

On top of that, I walked over to the West Village along Bleecker Street last week and saw that even more stores have gone belly up. Soho, likewise, blighted with empty storefronts and For Rent Signs.

A recent study commissioned by the city showed vacancies had doubled over the the last decade. Some areas of the city are running a 25% vacancy rate.

There’s currently over 11 million square feet of empty retail space in NYC (across all boroughs).

There’s even an interactive map on a site called Vacant New York that keeps tabs on all this.

How is empty groundfloor retail affecting condo and co-op fees?

I’ve not seen anything on this and yet it must be having some kind of impact on condo and co-op maintenance fees. If a building has been reliant on rent from a commercial tenant and now the residential owners have to pony up the difference, that’s a hefty new expense.

Bottom Line.

This will be the next problem popping up for the condo market. And it’s not restricted to NYC. Every major city will have to deal with this. Especially in markets where new condo construction with groundfloor retail has been rampant, e.g., Miami, DTLA, Denver, Chicago.

Making matters worse for New Yorkers is that the 421-a exemption that gave buyers of new construction a 15 to 25-year tax break is about to expire. As those exemptions go away, condo owners will see their property tax bills go from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars a month. How can this not lead to foreclosures? When combined with this rash of empty storefronts, the real estate picture is not looking rosy.

Buckle up!

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