Letter: Rents Driving Out Beacon Businesses

This is an open letter to the Main Street landlords in Beacon.

Please take a moment to reflect on how your decisions affect this community. During the past few years, Beacon has seen a tremendous resurgence and growth in the real estate market. The housing market is at an all-time high, and many of the businesses in the city seem to be thriving.

Unfortunately, I have noticed a number of business owners pulling up stakes and moving to nearby communities. All too often the reason they are leaving is the same: as rents continue to increase, some entrepreneurs find it exceedingly difficult to succeed.

My main concern is that the almighty dollar has gotten in the way of what Beacon is — a small river city proud of its heritage. It is not Manhattan or Brooklyn or Westchester and never will be. Those who decide to establish a business here do so for various reasons, but obviously one important reason is location. To be a part of a growing economy in this flourishing community must be exhilarating. But then to have one’s dreams dashed because of out-of-control rents must be devastating.

Landlords, please don’t be the cause of this economic bubble bursting in Beacon. Yes, you own rental property to make money. That is well understood. But don’t allow the ability to make a financial killing get in the way of what is right and fair. A business leaving the city is not good for the city. And an empty storefront is not good for you.

Charles Dunn, Beacon

15 thoughts on “Letter: Rents Driving Out Beacon Businesses

  1. Very well said. As a business owner on Main Street in Beacon I can certainly attest to the fact that rents are driving businesses to other communities or just causing them to close shop all together. Beacon’s Main Street is going to be right back where it was 15 years ago if landlords keep this up.

  2. Good letter. True. Every time I have looked at space there, price seemed to always go up exponentially, without real reason. Keep it reasonable and quaint. Beacon was becoming something amazing but if greed is your main focus, it will ruin what has been built.

  3. I have loved seeing Beacon rejuvenate itself over the past years. It is such a welcoming place to go and I enjoy visiting the great selection of shops there. But if the rents are high and businesses go elsewhere, Beacon will regress to the empty shell of stores, rundown area everyone fought so hard to rebuild. I would think landlords would want their properties utilized rather than empty.

  4. Beacon has become a great place to visit because of creative, edgy, unique businesses that will not thrive if rents are too high. If only high-end, expensive shops can afford to be here, Beacon will lose visitors. I hope landlords realize they will eventually lose by being greedy.

  5. I own a business and I am very worried about high rents, as well. Higher overhead will cause my product to become too pricey for my customers. If we continue to focus on becoming a bedroom community for the rich, and our landlords jack up our rents, our products will reflect that and we will no longer be serving the needs of the middle-class community in Beacon. We will lose because there won’t be enough rich people to support us as they commute to NYC and only shop Main Street on weekends, and the locals will simply leave town to do their shopping elsewhere.

  6. Same thing happened to a close community I lived in Ohio 30 years ago. Now the town is a sink hole for wealthy designers and professionals. Look into who may now own the real estate in Beacon. Many of the locals in my old community were lured into selling their properties by the first wave of artisan and their backers in the early 1990s. Now same people are charging top dollar which has completely altered the tenor of the town. Sad.

  7. Right on, Charlie. Too many interested in making a killing, not satisfied with just making a living.

  8. Made the decision four years ago that I couldn’t do business in Beacon. Lived here for 11 years and now my studio rental is in Haverstraw. I’d rather be closer to home, but rents are prohibitive here.

  9. The last I heard, we still live in a free market society. There is no rent-control law in Beacon, Cold Spring, Peekskill or any other river town that I know of.

    It is the market that determines what the rents are — what people are willing to pay at any given time. It’s also capitalism. Rent is part of the overhead of doing business. Of course you’re going to pay higher rent to have a store in a good neighborhood. That’s what it’s all about. The first rule of real estate is location, location, location.

    The landlords are in business just like the shopkeepers. Regardless of whether their space is rented, they still have to pay for the maintenance, taxes, mortgage, heat and other expenses. Most landlords are not making a killing. They’re breaking even if they’re lucky.

    If people think it’s the landlords that are the problem, you are wrong. The internet is what’s killing most retailers these days, including the Big Box stores. Have you heard of Amazon? Not only is Jeff Bezos gobbling up everything he can get his hands on, but the taxpayers are subsidizing Amazon shipping to the tune of $1.46 per package that they ship.

    You can’t expect your landlord to subsidize your rent. If you can’t afford the rent, maybe you shouldn’t be in business.

  10. Well said. I didn’t want to rent a storefront but an apartment. They were way out of my reach so I moved to where I could afford. I didn’t want to leave Beacon. Beacon has been my home my entire life. I’ve been gone for two & 1/2 yrs and all I read is how much worse the rents have gotten. This is so sad.

  11. Beacon got lax on building regulations and is at least trying (?) to regulate it. Problems will come sooner than later as our government did little to protect us from another crash by not putting back regulations on banks and Wall Street.