Fill 'Er Up: Why Those Vacant Storefronts Won't Stay Empty

Lower Rents Lead to More Deals

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    Rents are falling. And not just for apartment-hunters. A Realty firm called RIPCO -- you may have seen its red billboards on vacant storefronts -- says rents are down 25% compared to last year in prime Manhattan commercial space.

    As a result, would-be business owners are ready to take risks.

    City Storefronts May Be New Sign of Life for Economy

    [NY] City Storefronts May Be New Sign of Life for Economy
    Empty Storefronts Prove to be Good Deal in Struggling Economy. (Published Monday, Nov. 16, 2009)

    Just ask Mouzat Ali, who decided to get together with five friends and open a new restaurant, Veranda, on Seventh Avenue South. Never mind the previous tenant failed, or that rent is still sky-high. It's dropped enough that Ali says, "It's worth the risk."

    Meanwhile, RIPCO's Andrew Mandell says he's been getting 50 times the amount of calls he did a year ago, when the recession ground every potential deal to a halt. "We're seeing the ice melt," says Mandell.

    City officials caution it's a little early to get too excited. But the office of Economic Development says there has been an uptick in retailers opening new stores at a variety of locations.