Center For An Urban Future

December 12, 2023

Every NYC borough saw a decline in chain stores over the past year

Nearly 250 chain stores in New York City have closed in the last year, the second-largest decrease since the pandemic began in 2020. The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) on Tuesday released its annual "State of the Chains" report, which found a 3.1 percent decrease in the number of chain stores across the five boroughs over the past year. This year's decline breaks a two-year streak of moderate growth of NYC chain stores.
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December 23, 2020

Over 1,000 NYC chain stores have closed this past year, the biggest drop in a decade

More than 1,000 chain stores in New York City have closed over the past year, the largest year-over-year decline in over a decade. According to the Center for an Urban Future's annual "State of the Chains" report, nearly one out of every seven chain retailers open at this time last year is now closed, due to the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the continued growth of e-commerce. Even Dunkin', the city's largest retailer, closed 18 locations in 2020, the first time the coffee chain experienced a decline since CUF began tracking chains 13 years ago.
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May 20, 2020

Majority of NYC workers in hard-hit retail, restaurant industry live in low-income neighborhoods: report

Nearly every industry in New York City taken a hit financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But the businesses forced to close their doors, or switch to delivery only, because of the state's"pause" order, including restaurants, retail, hotels, and personal care services, have been especially affected by the current crisis. According to a new report from the think tank Center for an Urban Future, the workers from these hard-hit sectors, where layoffs have been most common, also live in the city's low-income neighborhoods. And while more than half of the jobs in these industries are located in Manhattan, 81 percent of the workers live in the outer boroughs.
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December 20, 2019

Dunkin’ and MetroPCS thrive in NYC despite overall drop in number of chain stores

The number of chain stores in New York City dropped for the second consecutive year, down 3.7 percent in 2019, according to a new report. Despite this decline in retailers, two stores continue to grow across the five boroughs: Dunkin' and Metro by T-Mobile. The Center for an Urban Future's annual "State of the Chains" report found that the coffee chain is the city's largest national retailer with 636 total stores, adding 12 locations since 2018, followed by the cell phone store, formerly called MetroPCS, which operates 468 stores citywide.
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June 26, 2018

NYC needs to invest nearly $6B over the next decade to fix aging park infrastructure, report says

Photo via Geoff Stearns on Flickr A report released Tuesday by the Center for an Urban Future found that while city parks are seeing record use by the public, officials have underinvested in their basic maintenance and infrastructure for decades. The average city park underwent its last major renovation in 1997, despite being on average 73 years old. The think-tank estimates an investment of $5.8 billion over the next decade is needed to address the repair and replacement of existing infrastructure, a number which does not include the cost of constructing new structures. "The subway system isn’t the only vital piece of infrastructure in New York that is aging and in need of investment,” Jonathan Bowles, executive director of CUF, said in a statement. "Parks in every borough are experiencing infrastructure problems brought by age and magnified by record usage and decades of under-investment in parks maintenance."
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July 13, 2017

The top 10 neighborhoods NYC artists are moving to

According to a new analysis by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), the number of artists in New York City has grown in almost every discipline, borough and neighborhood between 2000 and 2015. Citywide, the number of artists has increased by an all-time high of 17.4 percent, to 56,268 as of 2015. Since 2000, the Bronx saw the number of visual and performing artists nearly double, to 2,920 from 1,524, while Manhattan saw a decline of 10 percent, from 28,454 artists to 25,650. On the other hand, Brooklyn grew 72 percent to 17,605, Queens grew at 35 percent to 8,726 and Staten Island experienced an 8 percent growth to total 1,367 in 2015.
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May 25, 2016

POLL: Can New York’s Middle Class Stage a Comeback?

The lack of affordability in New York is typically, and justly, blamed on skyrocketing rents, but when it comes to the middle class it might be more closely tied to a lack of jobs. The Wall Street Journal shares a new report from the Center for an Urban Future, which finds that "while the city added a record number of jobs since 2011, middle-wage industries paying between $40,000 and $80,000 a year added the fewest positions, and a lot of those were temp jobs." Additionally, middle-wage jobs lost the most employees. Low-wage industries (paying under $40,000) such as restaurants and home health care services disproportionately added the most jobs. However, the report also points to a few factors that may indicate a comeback for the middle class. For one, middle-wage industries accounted for three of the eight sectors with a net gain of at least 10,000 jobs since 2011. These are employment services, building equipment contractors, and colleges/universities, respectively. In total, 23 middle-wage sectors added at least 1,000 jobs during this time, not far off from the low-wage sector's 24 and high-wage's 28. But are these figures enough to give the middle class staying power?
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December 23, 2014

NYC Saw a Spike in Chain Stores in 2014 with Queens Experiencing the Fastest Growth

Does it feel like there's either a Starbucks, Chase Bank, or Duane Reade on every corner? Well, that's actually quite a realistic feeling. According to the Center for an Urban Future's seventh annual State of the Chains report, national retailers in New York City experienced a 2.8 percent increase in 2014, the largest jump in four years and the sixth straight year to see a net increase. Queens is experiencing the fastest growth in new stores, and coffee king Dunkin Donuts maintains its top spot for the seventh year running with a total of 536 locations, 21 more than last year.
More on the findings here