Back in April, I took some pictures of The Main between Sherbrooke and Pins, and I noticed the abundance of empty office/store spaces in the area. Clothing stores like American Apparel, and the infamous MAC cosmetics store are now gone.(The horror!)
The Shed Cafe has been replaced by McGibbings Pub (double horror), and a few of quebec-designer boutiques have vanished from the street.
Makes you wonder: what the heck is going on? Why is everyone leaving?
The first few reasons that came to mind were: Rents are too high, or maybe the business taxes have sky rocketed? Not enough traffic in winter=Low sales.
Or could have been because of the repeated amount of work done on the street (sewers, new side walk, you name it- they’ve done it)
Well, as it turns out, it has been a combination of all the above.
Recently, La Presse published an article on it where Anabelle Nicoud covers the factors involved in the downward slope of the Main. In her article “Quand la Main décline: après le clinquant, le vide”, Mme Nicole explains the reasons behind the high vacancy rate in the Main:
“Les travaux se sont non seulement étirés en longueur, mais leur fin a coïncidé avec le début de la récession. Martin Delisle, de la boutique Blank, dit avoir observé, comme d’autres commerçants, une baisse de 30% de son chiffre d’affaires cette année. Malgré tout, les impôts fonciers ont augmenté et les loyers restent souvent inabordables.”