Report: NYC Retail Vacancy Could Reach 15% in 2010

While residential foreclosures dominate the headlines, city data indicate problems are brewing in New York's commercial real estate sector as well. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

REPORTER: Confirmation of the troubling trend is found in Mayor Bloomberg's summary of his budget plan for next year. It cites Cushman Wakefield data that shows the vacancy rate is up for prime commercial space for the fourth quarter in a row. Vacancies are projected to keep climbing until the Fall 2010 when they could reach 15 percent.

For the brave entrepreneurs looking for space, there's a silver lining as commercial rents are expected to slide even further, bottoming out above the $60-a-square-foot mark by the middle of next year. Even if space is leased, landlords who get paid rent based on retail volume are also taking a hit. Based on the city's contracting sales tax revenues, there's also a steady slide in retail sales. For WNYC I am Bob Hennelly.