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Global Public Policy

Vacant storefronts registry created in NYC

July 25, 2019

New York City has been trying to find ways to track the growing number of vacant storefronts throughout the city.

This week the City Council approved legislation that requires owners of commercial storefronts and second-floor spaces to register with the city.  

Landlords will also be required to submit information about their properties, including locations, sizes, vacancies, monthly rents and any construction projects undertaken in the last year, as part of annual expense statements to the city.

The “Storefront Tracker” bill aims to provide information on current vacancies and the city’s small businesses that are the most risk. The database, the first of its kind in the country, will list the occupancy status of retail spaces online. The council hopes this information will give researchers, policymakers and members of the community the ability to track the number of vacancies through a central database and make future policy decisions based on the data.

If occupancy status or property ownership changes during the first six months of the calendar year, owners will be required to file a supplemental registration that will be available online.

Landlords who fail to register a vacant property may face fines.

ICSC will continue to monitor and advise our members with more information as it becomes available.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephen Burm, ICSC Director of State and Local Government Relations for the Eastern Division, at sburm@icsc.org.