Manhattan and New York City as a whole have a large number of vacant storefronts. Unoccupied NYC storefronts have been a growing statistic for years now, but new motions are causing a stir among local property investors which can breathe new life into this sector of the commercial real estate market.

The Larger Impact of Vacant NYC Storefronts

Only 50 percent of NYC households own vehicles. Most people in live in NYC walk, bike, or take public transportation. The declining number of active NYC storefronts makes little sense in a city full of pedestrians and tourists. Emerging business owners, the city itself, and NY State are missing out on opportunities for revenue.

National Vs. Local Appeal

One of the big differences in getting funding to purchase, lease, or build out NYC storefronts comes down to a matter of branding. A local antiques dealer or bookshop may not carry the assumed financial standing as a national chain or franchise. Property owners feel more secure leasing NYC storefronts with national branding and can charge higher rent. At the other end of the spectrum, entrepreneurs, consumers, and people involved in the tourism industry argue that only leasing to national businesses detracts from New York’s appeal, and the nostalgia of hardworking individuals becoming successful in a city recognized for unity through individualism.

The Small Business Jobs Survival Act

The Small Business Jobs Survival Act aims to make NYC storefronts more accessible to small business owners. The legislation could cause a resurgence in opportunities for commercial real estate investors throughout Manhattan. Until there is an official vote on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, many NYC storefronts will remain vacant, and current owners will yet again see losses. Simultaneously, there are motions at the state level to implement commercial rent control to make leasing more accessible to small businesses.

No matter the outcome, the market for NYC storefronts will be interesting in the upcoming months. Many will become available as people divest their portfolios to cut losses. Others will be purchased in anticipation of either small business charm being restored to Manhattan or more nationally-recognized brands moving into the spaces.

At Express Capital Financing, we provide solutions for commercial real estate investors in Manhattan and throughout NYC. If you are interested in purchasing or renovating a storefront, contact out offices today.