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March 31, 2020

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Commercial rent stabilization bill is ‘terrifying,’ according to landlords

November 20, 2019

Business owners blast commercial rent stabilization proposal

Earlier this month, City Council member Stephen Levin announced that he and small-business advocates have crafted legislation that would create a commercial rent stabilization board that would set increases and “provide predictability” to small businesses. The idea, Levin says, is not to make landlords’ lives harder, but rather to “provide some stability so that business owners can make investments in their companies, and so landlords know what they’ll be getting and can plan accordingly instead of holding a storefront empty waiting for a windfall.” 


But some business owners don’t see it that way. The New York Post’s Lois Weiss followed upwith brokers and property owners, who, unsurprisingly, are not pleased with the proposed bill. “It’s a topic that has to be shut down as quickly as possible,” Brad Mendelson, a vice chairman at Colliers International, told the Post. “They’re crazy.”


The issues that industry insiders have are myriad, but the complex calculations used to set storefront rents—which take into account everything from neighborhood and foot traffic to ceiling heights—are one sticking point. “I don’t believe the people aren’t well meaning, but they have no experience in retail and how it works,” said Joanne Podell, an executive vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield. 


What does all of this mean? Expect a fight as Levin’s legislation makes its way through the approval process.


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