New startup creates storefront marketplace to lease out a city’s empty spaces


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Empty storefronts cause a chain reaction to other retailers

On the Lower East Side of Manhattan alone, there are an estimated 200+ vacant storefronts and lots. These unused spaces total over 250,000 square feet, at a value of $20 million per year.

When a space sits vacant, it has an effect on the other businesses on that street, as the vacant space deters foot traffic from the area.

Solution: Create a marketplace to lease spaces to the highest bidder

miLES — made in Lower East Side — is a group that aims to repurpose some 200 empty, unused spaces in the Lower East Side of New York City by temporarily leasing them as meeting spaces for classes, events, and pop-up shops. Founder Eric Ho tells Fast Co. Exist that the service is like a “Zipcar or AirBnb for storefronts,” that’s trying to work with Lower East Side landlords “to capture the time between when they find the long-term tenant to occupy the space […] to bring back something valuable for the community.” In partnership with Fourth Arts Block, miLES will open its first storefront for three months at FABWORKS beginning April 1st, 2013. According to Fast Co. Exist, miLES is also in talks with a local coffee shop to rent the space after the business closes at 7pm.

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Category: Employment


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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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