Leasing Retail Space In NYC During the Pandemic

The pandemic has certainly taken its toll on New York City’s retail space leasing market. Retail space vacancies have risen to historical highs with over 16,000 vacant storefronts throughout NYC’s five boroughs, according to Live XYZ, an online mapping service. Retail rents have tumbled, although exact percentages are difficult to calculate, many landlords have slashed asking rents by 50%. As a reference point the Real Estate Board of New York, a trade group, reports asking retail rents in the Fifth Avenue corridor declined 32% from its peak in 2018. Bad news for owners...

But good news for potential new small businesses? Yes, if you are a small business, with so many choices and rents at historical lows, this could be the time to realize that dream of being a shopkeeper. For retail space, it is an extraordinary buyer’s market in every sense of the word. Yet at the same time, for the small business, the trend is pointing up. Vaccines have been developed and more are on their way. Evidence suggests that people are going to take the vaccine if available to them. As indicated by the long lines for vaccine injections and the fact that more and more people are getting frustrated that the vaccine is not being made available to them. In any case, it is obvious that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

New York City will be a big beneficiary of when life gets back to normal. In 2019, visitors to NYC peaked at an all time high of 66.6 million visitors, according to NYC & Company, a city mandated tourism agency. But then plummeted last year to 22.9 million visitors due to the pandemic with most of those numbers obviously built up in the first quarter of last year before the lockdown. Looking forward, however, NYC & Company projects that tourism will fully recover in 2023 to 65 million. Now that spells perfect timing for entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business. If a potential shop owner business starts searching for a space today in our contactless environment, they can expect 6-12 months for finding a space, negotiating a lease, and build out. You can visit UpPeg.com for a faster and simpler way to find and lease retail space directly from owners. UpPeg.com easily cuts in half the time and effort it takes of finding and closing on a retail store lease. And it is free to use for potential tenants.

After securing a retail space and opening shop, most businesses will take a year to work the kinks out and learn their customer. So that by next year, 2022, a business’ first full year of operation, projected tourist to New York City will be 57 million, not too shabby. The store keeper benefits by riding the trend up, all the while with low rents and staking out a great location that competitors can no longer lease. The newly minted business person will look like a genius!

About UpPeg

UpPeg is the trusted marketplace that connects merchants with owners of vacant retail space and provides them the tools to transact successfully. On UpPeg, owners can list their vacant space without a broker. And merchants can find and lease retail space from the convenience of any device. Owners and merchants deal direct with each other, making the leasing process simple, transparent, and efficient. For more information, visit UpPeg.com.