2010-07-23 / Top Stories

Weiner Announces Vacancy Rates For Busy Queens Business Strips

By Anne Marie Turner

Rep. Anthony Weiner, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, unveiled a survey of 10 of Queens’ busiest shopping streets, including Rockaway Park’s Beach 116 Street, showing an average vacancy rate of 12 percent.

Weiner’s office surveyed Queens neighborhood shopping strips in Rockaway, Rego Park, Flushing, Woodhaven, Forest Hills, Jamaica, Sunnyside, Astoria, Glendale and Bayside. Throughout the borough, an average of 12 percent of all storefronts were closed or closing, with 1 in every 5 stores vacant at shopping strips in Woodhaven and Rego Park.

Between Beach Channel Drive and the Ocean Promenade on Beach 116 Street there are 55 store fronts. Of those stores seven remain vacant, giving Rockaway a slightly above average vacancy rate of 12.72 percent.

Though Rockaway’s rate seems high, it does not even begin to compare to the 20.68 percent vacancy rate in Woodhaven on Jamaica Avenue between 119 Street and Woodhaven Boulevard.

In order to help small businesses survive in the trying economic time, Weiner proposed a fivepoint plan to help. He wants to offer tax breaks for small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees, tax breaks for new hires, greater access to capital small business loans, a grace period for motorists who overstay their time at a parking meter, and mobile permits and adjudication vans.

“Small businesses are the backbone of New York City’s economy, and they have borne the brunt of our nation’s recent downturn,” Weiner said. “Helping small business owners get back on their feet should be our number one priority.”

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