You are reading

Van Bramer Calls for Commercial Rent Control Bill, Aims to Protect Small Businesses From Rent Hikes

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer holds a press conference in Sunnyside Friday to rally for a commercial rent control bill (Photo: Courtesy of CM Van Bramer’s office)

Dec. 18, 2019 By Kristen Torres

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has sponsored a commercial rent control bill that aims to protect small businesses from hefty rent hikes.

Van Bramer held a press conference in support of the bill outside of the recently-closed Dave’s Bagels, located at 43-20 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside, on Friday.

“Saving and protecting small businesses is among the most important things we can do for our community,” Van Bramer said. “Even when small businesses are successful, it appears they are punished for bringing business to their store in the form of increased rent.”

The bill would apply to retail and office space of 10,000 square feet or less and manufacturing space less than 25,000 square feet. It would create a Commercial Rent Guidelines Board—similar to the Rent Guidelines Board for apartments– that would regulate commercial rents by establishing annual rate adjustments.

The bill was introduce by Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents north Brooklyn, on Nov. 14. It has 10 sponsored and in currently going before the council’s Committee on Small Business.

The Board would determine rent increases by factoring in commercial real estate taxes, sewer and water rates, and gross operating and maintenance costs.

Real estate taxes are traditionally passed onto commercial tenants, as per most leases.

A report released by the City Comptroller in September revealed vacant commercial space nearly doubled between 2007 and 2017 throughout New York City — up to 11.8 million square feet in 2017. Commercial rent hikes and online shopping were among the reasons cited for the higher vacancy rate.

But a number of organizations are opposed to the bill, including The Real Estate Board of New York and Queens Chamber of Commerce.

These groups argue that the vacancies stem from a plethora of factors.

“Data shows that retail vacancy rates are driven by rising property taxes, longer wait times for government approvals, e-commerce and various other factors,” said James Whelan, the president of The Real Estate Board of New York, in a statement.

email the author:


Click for Comments 

Too little too late JVB. maybe you should have pushed this 5 years ago before rents became astronomical. Such a phony and a fraud


Great idea to save our local and family owned small businesses. It supports them and helps keep the fabric of our neighborhoods intact.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Islander gets 3-9 years for stealing homes across Queens belonging to elderly or disabled owners: AG

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that a Long Island man was sentenced to three to nine years in prison Friday for leading a deed theft ring that resulted in five homes being stolen from vulnerable Queens residents and saw them earn more $1 million in ill-gotten gains.

Marcus Wilcher, 48, of Carll Drive in Bay Shore, pleaded guilty in May to grand larceny in the second degree in Queens Supreme Court for his role in leading the crew following an investigation by the Attorney General’s office.

NYPD searching for burglary crew that targeted nearly 30 laundromats in Queens and others in Brooklyn and the Bronx

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst are looking for three masked men who broke into Susan’s Laundromat at 85-12 Grand Ave. at around 3:15 a.m. on Monday, June 24, while a fourth member of their crew acted as a lookout near their getaway car parked in front.

The burglars stole $1,800 in cash and removed a payment machine for the laundry room continuing an undetermined amount of cash.