Get used to seeing empty retail space: Real estate brokers tell the NY Times "they expect store closings in the city to rise this year." Over the next weeks, retailers will determine how their fourth quarter (especially holiday period) sales were and many expect the "pace of store closings to pick up in February and March." The number of Manhattan retail leases fell 33%, comparing 4th quarter 2008 to 4th quarter 2007, and landlords have—gasp—started to lower rents, even on Madison Avenue and in SoHo. One broker explains, "Savvy landlords are keeping tenants in place, even if it means accepting a rent that they might feel is under market." So maybe there is hope for the mom-and-pop venues out there, like the Emerald Inn.
Expect More Empty Storefronts
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"It puts more of a burden on New York — puts more of a burden on 49 other states."
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