Sunday, December 17, 2017
Forest Hills empty storefronts are bad news
From CBS 2:
There are many empty storefronts in the main shopping district in Forest Hills, Queens. They stand out like the empty space left when a tooth has been pulled, and business owners say it hurts just as much.
A staggering increase in the number of vacant storefronts is the city’s latest economic crisis, with many wondering why nothing has been done. According to a new report by the City Council, 600,000 people are employed by small retail businesses and restaurants in the city.
This made a City Council hearing on vacant storefronts all the more disheartening, Kramer reported. Members of the De Blasio administration were unable to tell Councilman Dan Garodnick and others what’s going on and what they’re doing about it.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, who represents Forest Hills, says the city has to do something.
“We have to look at each neighborhood to see what is going on, and why is this happening, and also have conversations with the landlords,” she said.
Meanwhile, two state lawmakers are taking action, introducing legislation to create a property tax exemption for landlords who offer mom and pop stores a long-term lease with fair increase to help them stay in business.