Is there a retail-vacancy crisis in NYC? The data is still out.

After years of inaction, momentum is building across all NYC zip codes against what appears to be an epidemic of empty storefronts. Yet despite this momentum and fears about the never-ending stream of beloved mom-and-pop shop closures, there is virtually no comprehensive citywide data on retail bleeding trends. Last summer, the New York City Council passed a “storefront vacancy” bill to finally quantify the size of the problem. The City has also utilized other techniques to collect data, but the data does not often lend itself to straightforward analysis. Our Project Coordinator, Andrey Prigov, took a deeper dive into the issue of storefront vacancy. Click here to read more about his analysis and what’s next for New York City when it comes to turning around retail vacancy.

Launching #PublicWorksGivesBack

We kicked off #PublicWorksGivesBack, a campaign featuring the incredible work of our nonprofit clients and the nonprofits our team supports. Through this campaign, Public Works is doubling staff impact for causes our team is passionate about by matching their contributions to any 501(c)3 organization. As our CEO Celeste Frye said, “I want to expand my team’s ability to give, and show them that Public Works cares about what they care about.” Take a moment to read Celeste’s piece on why giving matters to her and why it is a core component of the Public Works culture. Follow the #PublicWorksGivesBack campaign on Instagram and Twitter, @PublicWorksIQ, to learn about the nonprofits we’re featuring.

Staff News: Say Hello to Jennifer!

Jennifer Chung joins Public Works as an Analyst with the Client Services team. Jennifer is a skilled organizer with a deep interest in urban geography and languages.  She honed her analytical chops working as a consultant for the NYC Department of Education and as a Fulbright Scholar teaching classes on urban issues in Brazil. Read more about Jennifer’s journey to Public Works and what she likes to do in her free time.


Last month, our team attended two highly informative conferences focused on various urban planning challenges. After attending both the American Planning Association – NYM Conference and the 2019 MAS Summit, it is clear that the planning community is placing a stronger focus on improving urban environments and reimagining how urbanites interact and access public spaces. Public Works Partners is committed to creating dynamic neighborhoods for all New Yorkers. As we expand our urban planning practice in the areas of resiliency and public transportation, we look forward to capturing the public’s feedback on the City’s grand plans to make New York City stronger, safer, and more sustainable. Click here to learn more about the events and conferences we attended last month. And we look forward to seeing some of you at the following upcoming events – make sure to say hello.

  • Public Works CEO, Celeste Frye, will be attending the 2019 Hindsight Conference on December 6th at City Tech in Brooklyn.
  • We are proud to sponsor this year’s Human Services Council Changemakers of New Yoron December 10th at The Prince George’s Ballroom. The event celebrates HSC’s work and the contributions of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Mark Paneth LLP, and former Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler.

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