District News

Lincoln Square Retail Vacancy Prior to COVID-19 Outbreak

Mar 17, 2020
pedestrians walking down broadway in Lincoln Square on a fall evening

In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak in New York and its potential impacts on retail vibrancy in Lincoln Square, we are publishing our internal report detailing the state of retail vacancy prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. This report was prepared in the beginning of March 2020, before many of Lincoln Square’s cultural institutions, restaurants, retailers, and businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our aim is to provide a clear picture of the state of retail occupancy in Lincoln Square prior to the outbreak so that it may serve as a point of comparison with what will come during and after this crisis.

In general, Lincoln Square has had a relatively low and stable retail vacancy rate, averaging at 6.2% by vacant businesses over total retail businesses, and 5.1% by square footage from May 2019 to March 2020. Both measures of retail vacancy rate fall within the healthy range of retail vacancy of 5%-10% as defined by the NYC Department of City Planning. Lincoln Square offers a diverse mix of retail ranging from our many cultural institutions to clothing retail to salons. Of the retail offerings in the district, two of the top three categories of retail are restaurants and bars and services. Notably, these categories are not available via e-commerce, which may account for their high share of Lincoln Square’s retail mix.

Our full retail vacancy report is available here.

Photo credit: Filip Wolak