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Old 09-18-2017, 07:52 AM
 
Location: New York
1,130 posts, read 648,069 times
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I think it's a combination of poor city planning and high taxes/rent/lack of potential clientele.

Even if you have a viable local business like a coffee shop, which is unlikely to be usurped by Amazon, there's the question if you would even want to move to many of the Westchester villages to start with. Poor village/city planning means many of the main streets are populated with unattractive businesses which do not attract foot traffic. I'll pick on Dobbs Ferry since I live there, which is a perfect example of poor planning leading to placing all the unattractive - and frankly weird (?) businesses right on the main street, with little to attract locals on a day-to-day basis. For those who have been to Dobbs, you'll note that the main street has a magic shop, a musical instrument repair shop, a smoke shop, a comic book store, a daycare, a spiritual gifts store, about 632 beauty/nail salons, along with a smattering of realtors, insurance agencies and other equally uninspiring shopping options. Yes, you arguably need these small businesses, but they aren't places that people will seek out every weekend or for a visit.

The Rivertowns Square development promised some new businesses, but once again, with the exception of the theatre and maybe a couple restaurants, it's again businesses that won't attract foot traffic (another daycare, a urgent care, etc). Why, Dobbs, Why??

Contrast this with Tarrytown, which has fairly effectively planned its main street to contain an attractive array of restaurants, art galleries, shops, etc making it an attractive place to shop and dine. I would not make a special trip to Dobbs Ferry to do that.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:33 AM
 
221 posts, read 453,805 times
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Coffee shops, restaurants, dry cleaners, day care (kids centers, Gymboree, etc), gyms (maybe), furniture stores, and bars are the only viable businesses in the various Westchester downtowns. The towns are better off facilitating satellite office spaces where people can rent work spaces for the day and avoid a trip to the city.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:55 AM
 
788 posts, read 709,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
Shops losing sales to Amazon, Fresh Direct, etc. Aside from shuttered storefronts and blighted main streets, local governments are complaining that this could lead to higher taxes:

Westchester officials battle vacant downtown storefronts

Is there a path forward for these downtowns to survive?
Yes, the article makes it clear that the path forward is service-oriented retail (beyond just restaurants); zoning regulations are what's making it difficult to transition Westchester downtowns from purely retail (a dying model) to service-oriented retail and more unique offerings.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:50 AM
 
218 posts, read 519,064 times
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I remember reading that virtually all of the downtown retail properties in White Plains are owned by the same handful of companies. Seems to me like these companies would rather keep rents high to milk the properties that are leased even if it means others stay empty, as opposed to dropping rents to fill empty storefronts because that would eventually bring rents down across all their holdings. If there were lots of smaller owners, I don't think empty storefronts would be as much of a problem in WP.


Seems like there's also lots of developers looking to accumulate properties, knock down and rebuild, and to do this they leave some stores empty while leases run out on the remainder.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:57 AM
 
255 posts, read 121,778 times
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When I visit Westchester, all I see is affluent suburbs basking in their incredibly expensive school system and urban areas caught in a stranglehold of corruption. Areas like Ossining , Peekskill and Port Chester that are really trying to create real communities for living, now that NYC had been usurped by the ultra-rich/ultra-corrupt, are just having a real tough time fighting the system and are usually exhausted after a short time. The only thing left for the hard working middle class is two hour commutes from some smaller towns that the Billionaires aren't interested in. It's tough finding a real middle class neighborhood to enjoy nowadays.

The problem it isn't Amazon. It is that no one can compete in an economy where the mega-corporations get an unlimited amount of free money from the banks (courtesy of the Federal Reserve), while entrepreneurs get squat.
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