NYC brick-and-mortar retail is dead: Don Peebles

More than 50% of brick-and-mortar retailers will not come back, he says

Brick-and-mortar retail within the nation's largest city was essentially killed following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peebles Corporation founder, CEO, and Chairman, Don Peebles, argued Friday.

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Although there will be "some" survivors in New York City, Peebles told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria" that more than half won't make a comeback.

"Retail as we know it today or as we have known it in the past is gone," Peebles said.

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Peebles said the devastation to the city's commercial real estate was the result of an "evolution of technology" which was further perpetuated by the "anti-business" environment and "excessively high cost of doing business" in the Big Apple.

People walk by a retail space for lease from Lincoln Property Company on July 1, 2020 in New York, New York. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

What's more, he also cited the increase in crime as being "one of the biggest threats to the commercial real estate industry in New York City." And that's in addition to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Peebles said.

"If you add all those things together most of the retail -- a big chunk of it-- I believe more than half will not come back," he said.

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On top of that, there are "no consumers for the products."

Since the beginning of the year, droves of New Yorkers ditched the concrete jungle for the suburbs out of fear of contracting the virus. Peebles believes this trend is unlikely to change.

Now, "people are looking for a quality of life and they don't see that anymore in New York City," he said.

As a result, these commercial spaces will still be sold and repurposed, he said. Peebles pointed to Amazon's recent purchase of New York's iconic Lord and Taylor building on 5th Avenue.

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