Open Thread Wednesday

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  • Jorale-man

    South Heights news: Iris Cafe on Columbia Place has closed after 10 years. Their sign says they’re looking for another more affordable space.

  • W.R.

    Unfortunately the food and portions went downhill years ago. I had a steak there once that was the size of 3 postage stamps.

  • Sweeties
  • Jorale-man

    I think they might have been more successful had they stuck to their original function as a coffee shop, and not a full restaurant with table service. It was too much for that block. And with the park around the corner, they could have advertised to park-goers with coffee, pastries and sandwiches to go.

    Then again, I’m surprised that building may be squeezing business tenants. It’s not exactly the ritziest real estate in the Heights.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    THIS is the takeaway – NOT nit-picking about their portion size. (Which I get … is part of what a diner rightly focuses on.) … Many of us say – “Isn’t it a shame that ‘mom & pop’/one of a kind establishments fall victim to chains, … but ask yourself who can best deal with a 20% increase in space cost?! … Yes “affordable housing” is something BdB has ridden to a 2nd term – with, I suspect, as poor results as he’s had with the schools – but “affordable commercial space” is ALSO a related problem. Landlords are better served by REBNY than millions of consumers are by … “government” – a joke, in this instance, because they literally are “on the take” or anything else.

    Just be savvy enough to know that landlord X Killed this or that business…. If the space goes unrented at whatever unreasonable asking price for long enough, s/he may be “sorry,” but it sure won’t bring back whatever service business literally “couldn’t pay the freight!”

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Valid point, and one that’s come up on here before. Has the idea of supplemental rent vouchers for certain classes of businesses, or tax incentives for their landlords, ever been tested? And maybe pay for it with tax levies on big box stores and chains that move into certain classes of neighborhoods?

  • gc

    Sadly, there is obviously no interest in this kind of idea at any level of government. Virtually all our representatives are on the take from big developers. The results are there for all to see.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    No doubt. I wonder what channels these developers use to get the politicians to play to their interests. Do they organize before making campaign contributions, do they donate directly by exploiting Citizens United, or is there something hazier going on? What can we learn just from looking up all candidates on before heading to the polls?

  • Andrew Porter

    Sadly, you are totally wrong. There was a hearing about commercial rent controls at City Hall on the 23rd. Read about it on Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY here:

  • gc

    If I read it right they had a hearing. Any tangible results?
    If I remember correctly the Mayor had hearings and claimed to want to save LICH. We know how that story ended.

  • KXrVrii1

    You may find this article about what France has done to deal with similar issues interesting:

    Not that I’m optimistic NYC would do this any time soon…