As readers of this site will be aware, I have been exercised lately about the number of vacancies on the Drive and, more particularly, the length of time some of these vacancies continue. At the beginning of this month, we had three stores that have been vacant for more than a year, two for more than two years, and one for more than three years. There seems to be no activity on any of these long-term empty stores.
I mentioned this issue to the local BIA and their response was that this was a “global phenomenon” and so, I suppose, out of their hands.
During Car Free Day on Sunday I chatted with the owner of a small storefront in the heart of the Drive that has been empty for nine months. He told me they haven’t had any luck finding a suitable tenant: “And we are only asking $4,500 a month — the going rate.”
There was it seems to me, no thought on what might actually be needed to attract a tenant, maintain the space, pay taxes and mortgages — just that $4,500 was “the going rate.” There was also no appreciation that $4,500 is proving to be the going rate for keeping the store empty and revenue-less.
I’m no economist but none of this makes any sense to me.