335 vacant storefronts on Broadway: new survey

Maya Rajamani
September 11, 2020 - 3:36 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Three hundred and thirty-five storefronts along Broadway in Manhattan were vacant at the end of August, a nearly 80 percent increase compared to 2017, a new survey found. 

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer on Thursday released the results of a survey her office conducted on Aug. 28. Brewer and her staffers counted 335 vacant storefronts at street level on Broadway that day, from The Battery to Inwood, her office said in a release. 

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She and her team conducted a similar survey back in 2017, during which they counted 188 street-level vacant storefronts along the same stretch, the release said. The jump between 2017 and 2020 represents a 78 percent increase in vacancies. 

Eighty-two of the vacant storefronts counted in this year’s survey were above 125th Street; 39 were between 96th and 125th streets; 66 were between 59th and 96th streets; 105 were between 14th and 59th streets; and 43 were below 14th Street, according to the release. 

“While high rates of turnover and vacancy have been a concern for years along Broadway, the alarming 78 percent increase in vacancies since 2017 reflect a well-documented pattern of relentlessly rising rents and long-term vacancies, as well as the pandemic that since March has forced the closure of thousands of businesses large and small in Manhattan,” the release said.

“Such widespread vacant storefronts not only mark the remains of former businesses, with their long and short term costs to owners, landlords and neighborhoods,” it added. “Small businesses thrive in healthy commercial ecosystems, and are harmed by an impression of retail failure and abandonment that drives shoppers away.”