Queens Councilman Upset At Empty Retail Spaces

As someone who is an owner in multiple facets of real estate including residential & commercial, I understand the severe slump the industry is in. So it comes as to no surprise that the MTA has encountered the same issues that many others have as property owners.

The specific problem in this entry is in regard to the empty retail spaces at the 74th Street/Roosevelt Avenue transit hub in Jackson Heights, Queens. The transit agency has 3 retail spaces that are currently empty & this has Queens Councilman Daniel Dromm upset. John Mancini of NY1 has more in this report:

Subway retail comes in many shapes and sizes, bringing the MTA almost $70 million a year. Yet even though the 74th Street/Roosevelt Avenue hub in Jackson Heights, Queens underwent a $130 million renovation in 2005 that created 14 retail spaces, three spots in the station are still unrented.

“This is a shining example of MTA incompetence,” said Queens Councilman Daniel Dromm.

Almost a year ago, with service cuts looming, elected officials complained, and now with the fare hike coming next month, frustration has only grown.

“They promised me that this store right here behind me would be open by September as a pizza parlor. As you can see, they’ve had a lot of success,” said Dromm, gesturing at one empty space.

Street-level vacancies stand out where empty storefronts are rare. Underground, neighboring tenants would like to have more businesses nearby.

“Naturally, we’d like to see them full. This way, it attracts more business for us,” said florist Greg Kyroglou of The Flower Concept.

The MTA rents the majority of what is available and generally gets good marks on retail, even in the slow economy.

Click here for the complete report.

I find it hilarious that Councilman Dromm usedt he word incompetence in describing the situation considering his anger could be described the same way. Every time a fare hike is about to take effect, local officials grasp for straws to point out why the MTA should not be raising fares and/or cutting service. When they think they have found the brass ring, it turns out to be the usual idiotic rhetoric fooling only the sheep who continuously choose to get led to slaughter.

It is not as if the MTA is purposely not renting out the space & passing up on the money it could be making. The real estate market is one filled with some tough sledding & bumps along the way in our current economy. Retail spaces are not flying off the shelves as they were a few years ago. Plus throw in the hard luck the agency has had in renting spaces out there & chalk it up to some bad luck, it happens.

Honestly, the money they make from renting out retail spaces at this hub or throughout the system would not starve off fare hikes or service cuts so Mr. Dromm is wasting time comparing apples to oranges. Trust me, the agency did not stay up all day & night thinking of ways to break a promise to you. So get a clue & stop grasping for anything to attack the agency on as it is not going to get the spaces rented any faster.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Hey, MTA lapdog, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Most of the spaces in the station have been empty for years, long before there was any downturn in the economy. Moreover, the rents are a joke – $14,000-$25,000 a year; not a month, a year, to sell goods in the fifth busiest station in the city. This, when Jackson Heights has some of the most expensive commercial real estate outside of Manhattan. Why don’t you research the subject before pontificating like an ignoramus.

Your statement about Jackson Heights real estate pricing tells me you have no clue. I actually am in real estate in various forms including commercial within NYC. The statement you posted is completely inaccurate. Go get a clue kid.

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