Law of Unintended Consquences
The zoning proposal, backed by local politicians and the Bloomberg administration, would limit the size of new storefronts. But more than two dozen large (and beloved) mom-and-pops could face skyrocketing rents when their outsize footprints are grandfathered and become coveted by the very chain businesses that rezoning supporters want to curtail.So the new zoning law will solve one problem, yet may drive out some of the neighborhood’s longtime popular local businesses.
Unintended victims could include Upper West Side institutions like Barney Greengrass and Albee Baby Carriage Co., which have been in business on Amsterdam Avenue for 100 and 80 years, respectively; longtime cafés, funeral homes and hardware stores; and Mediterranean- inspired mainstays such as Columbus Avenue's Isabella's and Amsterdam's Gennaro.
“They'd all become targets instantly,” said Rafe Evans of Walker Malloy & Co., a local brokerage. “Their landlords would be sitting on gold mines.”
HT: Adam Librot