Monday, March 19, 2012

Law of Unintended Consquences

Here's an interesting Crain's New York Business article that illustrates the "Law of Unintended Consequences."

Residents and politicians on the Upper West Side of Manhattan are trying to protect small businesses and mom and pop shops, and prevent big box stores, banks, and drug stores from taking over huge storefront spaces (think "Walmart").  There are new zoning laws being proposed that would restrict new ground-floor retail storefronts on Columbus and Amsterdam to 40 feet and limit the frontage of banks on Amsterdam, Columbus and Broadway to 25 feet.  From the article:
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.

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.”
So the new zoning law will solve one problem, yet may drive out some of the neighborhood’s longtime popular local businesses.

HT: Adam Librot


At 3/19/2012 7:00 PM, Blogger Jason said...

And WalMart will take some of its pocket change and pay some lawyers to examine every letter in the new law and every inch of store frontage, every sign, etc, for compliance while planning their own stores that comply 100% with the law...

At 3/19/2012 11:42 PM, Blogger FloridaSteve said...

"So the new zoning law will solve one problem"... Problem?

At 3/19/2012 11:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"A zoning proposal intended to protect small businesses in her neighborhood from an onslaught of big banks, pharmacies and chains may actually doom Ms. Baer's and other large, independent shops whose properties could swell in value under the plan"....

See what happens when stupid liberals are put into elective office?

At 3/20/2012 4:20 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

So let me get this straight.

Mayor Bloomberg, who runs a global media empire, wants to restrict large companies from doing business.

The hypocrisy of liberal do-gooders never ceases to amaze.

At 3/20/2012 9:27 AM, Blogger Dave said...

“Their landlords would be sitting on gold mines.”

Of course, and they are the ones really pushing for the law. This is the intended consequence.

At 3/20/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

A bus service in Richmond confronted with regulations opened a free service.

Donations and business sponsorship gave it revenue of $220,000, and it is planning to expand.

If you have a problem with regulation, just go out of business.

At 3/20/2012 2:07 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"Of course, and they are the ones really pushing for the law. This is the intended consequence." always.


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