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Retail Rent Control Bill Has Trouble Finding Customers

A proposed City Council bill that would create a sort of rent control for retail tenants is no more. Council member Robert Jackson, who sponsored the bill that would have required commercial landlords to enter arbitration with small business tenants if they couldn't agree on a fair rent, has backed off the legislation. As Downtown Express tells it, there was some concern that forcing landlords to enter arbitration would infringe their property rights, but the big hang-up seems to have been an internal City Council argument no one else really cares about. Rising from the ashes of Jackson's proposal, though, is another plan for small businesses. This one would give small business owners a legal avenue to fight back against landlords who demand "key money" in exchange for negotiating new leases, give landlords a tax incentive to renew leases, and start a zoning reform that would help small business currently fighting against larger ones for spaces on certain streets. Meanwhile, Jackson's office said his bill will be reintroduced next year. Showdown!
· Retail rent control bill beaten back at City Hall [Downtown Express]