Professor Jacobson recently wrote about Ghost Towns USA, with pictures showing quiet and empty streets in New York City, due to the Coronavirus lockdown. If this goes on much longer, the economic effect on the city will be disastrous.

The cracks are already starting to show.

Jennifer Smith reports at the Daily Mail:

Will NYC become a ghost town? 80% of one landlord’s retail tenants skipped April and May rent as companies ‘take a field day’ from office lease payments while weighing permanently working from home – triggering an ‘alarming’ drop in tax revenue

New York City’s real estate market continues to be battered by the coronavirus lockdown and is likely to keep suffering with no end to the current lockdown in sight.

One major commercial landlord said 80 percent of their retail tenants missed rent payments in April and May and others are reporting that even companies that have healthy finances are simply choosing not to meet their lease agreements, amid growing uncertainty over how many businesses will actually work in offices in the future.

Residents are also abandoning their expensive apartments by breaking their leases or failing to renew them to wait out the crisis in more comfortable surroundings. For the rich, that means spacious homes in the Hamptons and upstate and for the young, it is their parents’ suburban homes.

The knock-on effect is an ‘alarming’ drastic reduction in the number of landlords who will be able to pay their tax bills on July 1 which will result in devastating losses in tax revenue for the city and, in turn, the state.

In April, NYC and the state collected just $78.5million in tax revenue on the sale of commercial and residential properties, down from $217.5million in March.

David Marcus of The Federalist recently appeared on the Tucker Carlson show to discuss his New York Post op-ed about the need to immediately reopen the city. Here’s an excerpt:

End New York City’s lockdown now!

Last Friday morning, some 3,500 New Yorkers lined up at a Catholic church in Queens to receive free food hours before it even opened, ­according to the New York Police Department. Catholic Charities has reported a 200 percent increase in demand over the past month and a half.

By prolonging the coronavirus shutdown long after its core mission was accomplished, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have plunged tens of thousands of New Yorkers into poverty.

It needs to end. Now…

For two months, we have waited for Cuomo and de Blasio to tell us how this ends. Where is ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg with his alleged army of tracers that the governor told us was the key to reopening? And why did he hand that responsibility over to Bloomberg, whom ­nobody elected anyway?

What the hell is going on?

Small business owners in New York are trying to sound the alarm. Cuomo and de Blasio should be listening to them.

From ABC 7 News in New York:

Coronavirus News: Coalition of small businesses in NYC fighting to reopen shops

Store owners in Manhattan are fighting to reopen their doors and say their livelihoods are at stake.

One clothing store on the Upper East Side has defied orders to stay closed.

While there were no customers at the Peter Elliot store on Lexington Avenue on Wednesday, the store is ready to sell some shirts — no matter what the governor says.

And they are making sure there is plenty of stock for customers — as soon as the customers are ready.

Yes, it violates all the rules of the statewide shutdown, but the owner is all done with the shutdown.

“We are not a country of sheep, but we have been treated like sheep,” store owner Eliot Rabin said.

Everything is connected through the economy. If people can’t work, they can’t pay rent. Then the property owners can’t pay their bills. Eventually, everything crashes.

This is not sustainable. New York needs to reopen.


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