BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Oct. 26, 4:45 p.m.: Added than 200 bodies arranged a hotly advancing audition on the Baby Business Jobs Survival Act at Burghal Hall Monday. Scores of bodies active up to affirm on the issue, and the audition angry into a marathon, abiding added than eight hours.
Among some of the capital takeaways were that it became bright the de Blasio administering does not abutment the S.B.J.S.A., and that, according to Burghal Council Apostle Corey Johnson and others, the bill should not be O.K.’d as is, and needs some modifications.
The audition additionally saw a annoyed barter amid Johnson and John Banks, admiral of the able Absolute Acreage Board of New York, which has continued been accused of alive abaft the scenes to accumulate the bill from anytime advancing up for a vote.
Banks said the bill would “stifle” bread-and-er action and bankrupt acreage owners of their rights. REBNY, amid others, is accepted to sue if the Council passes the bill and it is not banned by de Blasio.
Former Manhattan Borough Admiral Ruth Messinger was on duke to affirm in abutment of the legislation — currently accepted as Intro. 737A — which she originally alien back she was an Aerial West Side burghal councilmember.
Advocates for the act in the admirers frequently would silently agitate their easily over their active — a acceptable anatomy of announcement abutment — at statements abetment the bill or baby merchants. Council aegis agents bound greeted any acclaim or auspicious with rebukes not to arrest the hearing.
Meanwhile, about 50 assembly of business advance districts a.k.a. BIDs and others adjoin the bill sat in the admirers acid dejected baseball caps antic the byword “Vote No on Bartering Hire Control” on their fronts. The accumulation additionally included bartering absolute acreage brokers and assembly of residential co-ops and condos.
The S.B.J.S.A. has languished in the Burghal Council for three decades. The admeasurement would abode what advocates say is the better hurdle adverse mom-and-pop shops — the lease-renewal process. Back leases expire, landlords, abnormally in gentrified Manhattan, about jack up the rents to levels that accepted tenants can no best afford.
However, for a merchant with an expiring lease, the S.B.J.S.A. would authorization adjudication with the freeholder and then, if needed, bounden adjudication to ability acceding on a 10-year charter renewal.
Shortly afterwards actuality adopted the Council’s apostle beforehand this year, Johnson apprenticed that he would authority a audition on the long-snubbed bill. Yet, at the aforementioned time, he warned that the S.B.J.S.A. was “not a argent bullet,” in his opinion, and that an arrangement of added strategies would additionally be bare to advice baby businesses survive.
Despite adversity from a bad algid — that sometimes saw him audibly coughing on the belvedere — Johnson sat through about four-and-a-half hours of Monday’s hearing, which was chaired by Mark Gjonaj, arch of the Council’s Baby Business Committee.
Johnson said baby merchants accommodate capital casework and products, advertence “bodegas, laundromats, shoe-repair shops… .”
“When a longtime business is shuttered, we lose a allotment of New York,” Johnson said.
Small businesses advice accomplish New York added adequate in abounding ways, he noted, from accouterment capital services, like shoe repairs, to captivation bales and mail for residential neighbors.
“I don’t accept a doorman,” Johnson said. “I don’t charge one. I accept a cafeteria appropriate at my bend at 15th St. and Seventh Ave.”
At the aforementioned time, he said, “Advocates aren’t action to like this — I don’t anticipate this bill is a absolute bill. … This is a complicated issue.”
He and added councilmembers additionally warned of abeyant “unintended consequences” of the S.B.J.S.A.
Gregg Bishop, the abettor of the city’s Administering of Baby Business Services, fabricated it bright that the de Blasio administering has issues with the S.B.J.S.A. Bishop said that because landlords generally accept added assets than their tenants, the adjudication action would not be fair. He additionally wondered if New York would accept “enough arbitrators” to handle all the lease-renewal cases.
But Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, in his affidavit afterwards on, said the bearings already is arbitrary against the tenants and could not possibly be worsened by the S.B.J.S.A.
State Senator Brad Hoylman captivated out his report, “Bleaker on Bleecker,” which abundant the crisis of abandoned storefronts on the acclaimed Village strip.
Johnson and others took affair with the actuality that the bill would awning all bartering tenants in New York Burghal — including not aloof ground-floor storefronts, but aerial floors active by banking firms and white-shoe law firms.
As one apostle put it, “shopping malls” would alike be covered by the S.B.J.S.A.
At the aforementioned time, Johnson again broiled Bishop on what the burghal affairs to do about the botheration of merchants’ rents “doubling, tripling, quadrupling and quintupling.”
Johnson again brought up the archetype of Tortilla Flats, the long-running and admired far West Village bar and restaurant, that acutely is closing on Sat., Oct. 27, due to aerial rent.
“It aloof came out in the aftermost two canicule that they are closing,” Johnson said. “Clayworks ceramics was affected out of its atom in the East Village afterwards 44 years,” he said, apropos to addition abundance that bankrupt a year ago due to an unaffordable rent.
“The Associated Supermarket on 14th St. and Eighth Ave., one of the aftermost affordable supermarkets in the Village — they tripled their rent, and that abundance is still empty,” Johnson said.
It was additionally acclaimed that McNally Jackson, the absolute bookstore on Prince St. in the Little Italy area, is actuality affected to leave its space.
The city’s retail mural is at accident of actuality genized, Johnson said, stressing, “We can’t let that happen. We chose not to alive in a burghal of accumulated cookie-cutter businesses.”
Bishop didn’t accept any accessible answers on ambidextrous with ascent rents. The S.B.S. abettor did say that the administering is accessible to the abstraction of a tax on storefronts that are larboard abandoned too continued — an abstraction accustomed by the ambassador — and additionally of creating a “storefront registry,” to quantify how abounding abandoned food there are about the city.
Jessica Lappin, a above Aerial East Side councilmember, now admiral of the Downtown Alliance, said the retail mural of her Lower Manhattan BID’s commune has benefitted from flexibility, but that the S.B.J.S.A. would potentially lock bartering tenants in abode for decades.
Jessica Walker, admiral of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, acclaimed that online retail is absolutely affliction bricks-and-mortar food — currently acquisitive up about 10 percent of all purchases — and will alone grab added of the bazaar in the years to come. She predicted some landlords would acknowledge to the S.B.J.S.A. by artlessly not renting to baby merchants. Similarly, Bishop, of S.B.S., said landlords could aloof accept not to hire their spaces to anyone if they acquainted they were actuality affected to lowball abeyant rents. Walker said acute problems that the burghal should abode instead are aerial bartering hire taxes and acreage taxes.
David Eisenbach, arch of Friends of S.B.J.S.A., told the councilmembers he would be O.K. with acid white-shoe law firms and such out of the bill’s protections, but that added tenants “on the added floor” — like yoga studios and dentists offices — charge the bill’s protections. A Columbia professor, Eisenbach is active for accessible advocate, with the S.B.J.S.A. actuality one of his capital attack planks.
But others who accept been advocating for the bill best — in some cases, for decades — boycotted the hearing, slamming it as “a sham.” Eisenbach led a assemblage at apex afore the hearing, touting the bill.
The accumulation Community Ascendancy of Acreage Use New York captivated its own assemblage at 10 a.m. organized by Chelsea activist Marni Halasa. CCLUNY, as she explained it, is a accumulation she founded afterwards she ran for Burghal Council “to brainwash baby businesses and the accessible on the S.B.J.S.A. and adapt activists, businesses and tenants to accept a greater articulation in acreage use decisions.” Joining that assemblage was Steve Barrison, of the Small Business Congress, whose associates accept angrily been admiration that Johnson and the Baby Business Board would “water down” the bill.
Meanwhile, associates of Barrison’s S.B.C. don’t assurance Eisenbach and his group. But Eisenbach says he is “playing the central game” while the others accept relegated themselves to actuality on “the outside” by about admiration Johnson will alter the bill.
At one point, Johnson airtight the boycotters, the acrimony axiomatic in his articulation and anatomy accent as he huffily scoffed, “Advocates say, ‘No changes to the bill — none.’”
The Council apostle asserted that he is aboveboard in blame the legislation.
“Today’s audition is about affective this bill,” Johnson said. “It wouldn’t appear if we weren’t austere about it.”
Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who is “carrying” the bill as its capital sponsor, said, “We are actuality to get that bill beyond the accomplishment line,” adding, “This is not about bartering hire control.”
There was a flurry of hand-waving in the audience.
Advocates say the action of REBNY and others is to abash the S.B.J.S.A. with bartering hire control, which would assimilate bartering hire increases beyond the city.
Some advocates had pushed in arrogant for the Council’s Acknowledged Administering to affair an assessment above-mentioned to the audition that the bill is absolutely legal. But that is not usually done in the Council, and it didn’t appear this time either.
As Jaime McShane, REBNY’s chief carnality admiral for communications, acclaimed as he watched the proceedings, the Council administering wouldn’t acquaint a bill if they didn’t feel it was legal.
During the hearing, Gjonaj, the committee’s chairperson, said, “I don’t intend to accord with the acknowledged issues of the bill [today]. I will leave that to the board and the attorneys.”
As for what happens next, Johnson explained, the bill will now abide modifications by the Council’s Acknowledged Department.
The Villager asked for a time band of what will appear aing — such as back the Council ability vote on a adapted bill — but a Burghal Council agent alone responded in accepted terms.
“The Board on Baby Business heard affidavit for about eight hours on this circuitous legislation, with over 120 associates of the accessible active up to testify,” the account said. “A advanced arrangement of stakeholders gave accessible acknowledgment on abounding aspects of the legislation, as able-bodied as proposing added approaches to the baby business crisis that charge to be assessed. Now, the board will anon analysis the affidavit and activate its assignment with advocates and the administering against legislation that is appropriately targeted and effective.”
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