Planning Dept. study: NYC storefront vacancy rate at 13%

The Department of City Planning is releasing a new report this month to put as much reliable data as possible into the hands of those making decisions that will affect the community.

The study is taking an in-depth look at recent retail trends and store vacancies.
Shoppers who News 12 spoke to on Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville say the neighborhood has seen a lot of changes in recent years.

According to the Department of City Planning's Assessing Storefront Vacancy in NYC report released earlier this month, the vacancy rate is relatively high at about 13%.
The study has found that a number of factors have contributed to the corridor's occupancy rate, including long-term challenging economics, a weaker retail market, a lack of anchor stores, and limited subway access.
Daniel Murphy, the executive director from the Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District says many of the closures along the avenue are not specific to this area.
Stores that have closed include corporate retailers like Payless, which are closing all around the country.
Murphy says there's much less crime in the area compared to past years, and that especially during the day, Pitkin Avenue is a high-traffic spot. He says they're trying to encourage more people who live in the area to plant their businesses there.

"A lot of our focus is on inviting and attracting entrepreneurs, small business people to come in because they have the best idea of what the community wants and needs to see on the avenue and that's going to draw people to walk the streets,” says Murphy.

The BID actually recently launched a demonstration project called Storefront for Brownsville to help local entrepreneurs. Murphy says that's just one way the community is coming together to help potential business owners and contribute to the growth of this area.