There’s definitely no shortage of Duane Reades, Starbucks, and banks lining Manhattan’s streets, but other than these national chains, it’s hard for small business owners to afford the city’s soaring commercial rents, and these mom-and-pops are currently lacking any protections from landlords. In some areas, this has created a chain store monopoly, while in others it’s left stretches of otherwise popular streets with large numbers of vacant storefronts. Programmer Justin Levinson is exploring the latter through a new map called Vacant New York, which provides a startling picture of Manhattan’s shuttered storefronts and its high-rent blight.

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