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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.

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.

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10 Comments

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LIC Direct

The last owner Was a dominican guy who is now living back in Santiago Dominican Rep like a King, instead of struggling slinging Bagels on Qns Blvd

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No soup for you!!!

I just like doing Seinfeld references….maybe JVB saw the episode where George does the opposite of all his past choices

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John O'Reilly

Whatever happened to the $6.5 million allocated for improvements to the Woodside Library Mr. Van Bramer announced with Joe Crowley in a photo op at the library eighteen months ago, a week before the primary election when Crowley lost to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

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Sunnysideposthatesme

It’s too late. You’re pandering to the commercial rapists has resulted in a barren neighborhood with locals gone and being replaced by buildings. Buildings that will be filled by homeless people thanks to the mayor. You had your chance…sunnyside will be the new detroit..its already almost there you just gotta walk up and down the place and open your eyes.

Sad

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Trekking for bagels sucks in the winter

how come there are 6 or 7 bagel places in astoria? are things much different 2 miles away? i dont think so.

And the same with Greenpoint/Williamsburg, multiple nice bagel shops with even higher rents im sure.

The fact that other neighborhoods can easily support these kinds of places while we get stuck with only nail salons and 99 stores says something about how business friendly this place is.

Daves was ok, close by, but they had a filthy interior and ceiling fans running with no blades. Hope we can get at least one decent place for bagels.

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Dave

JVB, you’re a little late on the Dave’s Bagels cause. They’ve been closed for quite while now. But I know you are sincere. That’s all that counts. Good luck.

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Anonymous

The man has taken HUNDREDS thousands OF DOLLARS from real estate interestS OVER 12 YRS now he wants to come across as the man of the people. He’s supporting it because he knows there is no way it will pass. Another JVB stunt to get elected to Qns Borough President. NO QUEENS BOURGH PRESIDENCY FOR YOUUUU!

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L.huang

First good idea ever. The little guy gets screwed and the big guy gets a tax break. Probably wasn’t jvb’s idea

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Old as Dirt

cant believe I agree with this douche on something but its hardly enough for me to even consider voting for him

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