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Van Bramer Calls for Commercial Rent Control Bill, Aims to Protect Small Businesses From Rent Hikes

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer holds a press conference in Sunnyside Friday to rally for a commercial rent control bill (Photo: Courtesy of CM Van Bramer’s office)

Dec. 18, 2019 By Kristen Torres

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has sponsored a commercial rent control bill that aims to protect small businesses from hefty rent hikes.

Van Bramer held a press conference in support of the bill outside of the recently-closed Dave’s Bagels, located at 43-20 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside, on Friday.

“Saving and protecting small businesses is among the most important things we can do for our community,” Van Bramer said. “Even when small businesses are successful, it appears they are punished for bringing business to their store in the form of increased rent.”

The bill would apply to retail and office space of 10,000 square feet or less and manufacturing space less than 25,000 square feet. It would create a Commercial Rent Guidelines Board—similar to the Rent Guidelines Board for apartments– that would regulate commercial rents by establishing annual rate adjustments.

The bill was introduce by Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents north Brooklyn, on Nov. 14. It has 10 sponsored and in currently going before the council’s Committee on Small Business.

The Board would determine rent increases by factoring in commercial real estate taxes, sewer and water rates, and gross operating and maintenance costs.

A report released by the City Comptroller in September revealed vacant commercial space nearly doubled between 2007 and 2017 throughout New York City — up to 11.8 million square feet in 2017. Commercial rent hikes and online shopping were the reasons cited for the higher vacancy rate.

But a number of organizations are opposed to the bill, including The Real Estate Board of New York and Queens Chamber of Commerce.

These groups argue that the vacancies stem from a plethora of factors.

“Data shows that retail vacancy rates are driven by rising property taxes, longer wait times for government approvals, e-commerce and various other factors,” said James Whelan, the president of The Real Estate Board of New York, in a statement.

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Hey job killer tell your Commissar buddy Wilhelm stop raising the property taxes and U wont see rent hikes. How does a landlord operate on charity?? Lets see?? Club evolution and friends tavern raking in 50k plus a month in proceeds drinks at 12-15 bucks . How are they crying poverty?? Nothing is for free Jimmy.


I hate to say this but after coming out as our representative so aggressive in opposition to Amazon having a headquarters in LIC, anything this guy gets his hands on immediately sounds like it’s a terrible idea.

Winston Churchill

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries

Winston Churchill accepted cash bribes

He was also an anti-semite and all around bigot.

I wonder why Trump lovers like him so much.

Real estate insider

REBNY is an organization of assholes owned by billionaire NYC developers. They hate transparency and are the #1 reason residential and commercial rents are out of control in this city. If they are opposed to something, you know why.


“I am currently looking for a new job due to term limits…I have realized that I need to actually do something for the community to facilitate this…Therefore anyone who pledges to vote for me I will buy a round of Cosmos at Dazie’s…Thank you for your support”


This is the same person who took how much money for real estate developers. Lied about giving it back then gave it back. CORRUPT? Keep him out of any future offices!

Spud McCooder

Sounds like a good idea, but it has to be very carefully constructed legislation so that landlords don’t end up subsidizing megachains like Starbucks who try to exploit loopholes by building micro-stores or partnering with local strawmen franchise owners. Probably the best way is that a store can apply for commercial rent control through some sort of public review process where they have to prove that they are a locally owned, independent shopkeeper in good standing with the community. Or maybe they have to be nominated..


Oh NOWWWWW he wants to help small business. I guess the ones that are still left after the HQ2 debacle he staged.

That seems plausible

Two options:

1. a grand conspiracy to downvote a website’s comments
2. your posts are horrible

either is likely I guess.

James E

I was in the Urban Cellar the other day and saw mister Jimmy. He talkes about renter control, but he shops at the priciest market. He doesn’t understand our real needs. I have to check the price of milk multiple places before I buy and he splurges on bagels. We don’t need him as the new king of queens. He is the one making all the businesses go away and now he thinks he can solve his own problems. No thanks Jimmy


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