Gentrification…the disconnect between residential and commercial

These days everything seems to be in flux.  Retailers are finally waking up to the reality of the world that they created for themselves.  When you have a 40% off sale on a weekly basis, it is impossible to get anyone in your store when something is at full price.

I walk through the streets that are filled with retailers who seem content to pay high rents and not make any money because they are supported by marketing dollars and wonder when does this end.  I have never understood how owners of commercial properties that rent to stores do not think long term by renting to a company that is not the proper fit for the neighborhood.  There is a huge disconnect between commercial and residential.

I will use the neighborhood of Venice California to make my point.  There has been tremendous pushback from the neighborhood around gentrification.  Let’s keep the craziness of the different homes and not let people just build what they want.  I get that.  I get the fear of rents going up and people not being able to live in a place that they have lived for decades.  There should be a way to create more diverse neighborhoods but that would come from tax benefits that nobody seems to have an appetite for right now.

Abbott Kinney is the major road that runs through Venice where there are stores, restaurants and alike for the locals (and tourists) of the neighborhood.  The commercial properties that are on the street are disconnected from who is living in the neighborhood.  It makes zero sense.  There will be a time when those commercial properties will become empty until either the neighborhood catches up or the commercial landlords figure out the neighborhood.

I see it on Bleecker Street in NYC.  The old stores are gone, the new ones have arrived that look like Madison Avenue and the Meat Packing Area is filled with chain stores that think that they appeal to the tourism in the area but are those tourists really shopping at the stores that they can shop in when they are at home?  Commerce streets should match the homes that sit behind them.  That creates a healthy neighborhood but for some reason, there always seems to be a disconnect between commercial and residential.