By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter
May 10, 2017: Mayor Mary Marvin announced at the May 8 Bronxville Board of Trustees meeting that the village has reinstituted the Retail Mix and Marketing Committee.
A group of village officials, landlords, merchants, residents, and members of the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce will convene on Wednesday, May 17, to address shared interests and issues stemming from a substantial number of empty storefronts in Bronxville's downtown business district.
"Many of us have noticed that we have a lot of vacancies," Marvin noted. "In my mind, that's really the most important thing right now." She added that several residents have expressed concerns about ensuring that the village remains commercially vital and contributes to a sustained and healthy local economy.
Marvin stated that the members of the newly reformed committee will discuss their shared concerns about promoting commerce in the village. "It's a way to facilitate a coming together of different constituent groups," she said.
Marvin emphasized that the village, in doing its part to support the downtown business district, has been studying ways to increase parking opportunities and streamline the village zoning code and its permitting process for businesses. Every effort, she said, is aimed at promoting commerce in the village.
Although residents have speculated that owners of empty storefronts realize substantial tax benefits that serve as a disincentive to lease the spaces, that is not in accordance with reality. Any tax relief a property owner might gain by filing a certiorari for tax relief would not only be minuscule but also would not approach the level of revenue that could be earned from a tenant with a lease.
Costs of doing business, such as mortgage payments, insurance premiums, maintenance costs, and utility costs, must be paid whether a property is occupied or vacant. Empty storefronts have a negative impact on the synergy of neighboring businesses and tend to depress lease rates.
"The village wants to do whatever we can," Marvin stated, "and bring our constituents in to see if together we can do something."
Pictured here (L to R): Mayor Mary Marvin, Deputy Mayor Robert Underhill, trustee Guy Longobardo, and Village Administrator Jim Palmer.
Photo by Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter