Monday, January 11, 2010

There are 21 empty storefronts along Avenue A

The ongoing discussion with the rent woes for Ray at Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A prompted me to take an inventory of empty storefronts along Avenue A...Chris Flash noted the following in his Ray's article at The Shadow:

As Ray is already paying a peak rent for his small store, and as the neighborhood is already full of empty storefronts, it is doubtful whether a new tenant would be able or willing to pay as much or more for Ray's store.


I counted 21 empty storefronts on Avenue A. However, at least five of the storefronts are being renovated in preparation for new tenants. (But they are still technically vacant now...)

Starting on Houston and walking north along Avenue A...up to 14th Street...







The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is coming to the former Two Boots space...




At 85 Avenue A, the Arrow is very much open in the lower level...and upstairs there's work being done on the opening-soon Cafetasia...




95 Avenue A will one day be home to Cienfuegos, a Cuban eatery...





And there's work being done on this storefront next to Horus on 10th Street...


167 Avenue A is reportedly becoming an EV outpost of Diablo Royale...









Previously on EV Grieve:
There are more than 20 empty storefronts along Avenue B

21 comments:

Curt said...

Yes but now that Bloomberg is nixing Salt these should be rented soon. Mark my words Salt today Pepper tomorrow. All the spice of the city is being drained from us.

Anonymous said...

Landlords have to be warehousing. There's no other explanation. I can't believe anyone thinks that Ray's tiny closet space is worth $4,000 a month, let alone the 5K this management lady claims someone will pay for the space. We all have eyes to see and read with and we know what's going on with the economy, crazy management lady.

methinks landlords are hoarding places in anticipation of the next financial boom. Good luck with that plan.

Anonymous said...

The commercial r/e disaster is now upon us. Watch out below...

Bowery Lane Bicycles said...

We are trying to find a good spot for a storefront for our Bicycle company, Bowery Lane Bicycles. This is a good start, thanks for the heads up. All we want is something for a few months, a pop up shop. I hope these landlords realize that some cash is better than no cash. If anyone knows of a good spot let us know.
t: @bowerylanebikes

dmbream said...

RE: Bowery Lane Bicycles

"I hope these landlords realize that some cash is better than no cash."

That's what I say. Sign some short term leases, right?

Apart from anecdotes, any historical reference on the typical number of vacancies on these respective avenues?

Grieve-

Feel like bundling up and doing the same exercise up 1st Ave?

;-)

EV Grieve said...

@curt. I think Bloomy will target condiments next. How I miss mustard...

EV Grieve said...

@dmbream

Good question on the historical reference. Some of these storefronts on A have been shuttered for years — particularly the ones between 3rd and 2nd operated by the NYCHA.

And there are several empty shops on First too. Probably not 21, though....

Goggla said...

Ray is apparently renting month-to-month without a lease...not good for him, but this arrangement could benefit other short-term businesses. I wonder why more of this isn't going on just to pull in some cash.

Melanie said...

It looks like the EV strip has been abandoned.

Mykola Dementiuk said...

All the mom and pop shops that could have been....sigh :((( Devastated by the greedy need for money.

geoff matters said...

"the ones between 3rd and 2nd operated by the NYCHA"

The first 4 pictured storefronts are NYCHA properties, and my understanding is that they are supposed to be operated for the benefit of the community. How does demanding rents which make it impossible for most businesses to afford those spaces benefit the community?

Anonymous said...

Seems like the "Upright Citizen's Brigade" has been moving into the Two Boots space for at least a year now. What's the story?

Jill said...

I am sad about the A&H store, which was a candy store, and the last one on Avenue A that I know of (definition of candy store? visit my brain in the 1970's). I wasn't sure it was closed because sometimes it would have odd hours, but yes, recently, I haven't seen it open at all.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 6:23 pm... Work started on the theater in July...and you're right: Not much progress is noticeable from the street level...

Anonymous said...

Jill, A&H has been closed for two years now. I live across the street, so I was there many times for late-night trips for more beer (I was much younger then :p). The whole building now looks completely dilapidated.

Don't worry about the owners, though -- they have a new candy store over on Ave B between 6th and 7th. Last time I walked by, anyway.

Anonymous said...

6th and A will be a rum bar from Death and Co. people.

Lisa said...

I don't think I would recognize Ave. A if I walked down it today. And I only left in 2005. I was over on Essex in December, and it felt quite foreign.

glamma said...

wow thanks EV Grieve for the sober reminder. the landlords obviously do NOT have all the leverage at the moment. this POS Chupa is thekind of person who is directly responsible for the loss of character and sabor in the EV.. how does she sleep at night? what a waste of life. i hope she is reading this!

Anonymous said...

Those vacant store fronts in the NYCHA building, First Houses, suggests that NYCHA wants to sell the whole damn parcel to a developer, or wanted to before the Bubble burst. NYCHA operates behind an opaque veil of secrecy. NYCHA has been shuttering, then warehousing, apartments when people move out, especially in Manhattan, according to the best intelligence gathered by housing advocates. including Borough President Scott Stinger, but there are no records to substantiate any rumors.

The contiguous, vacant storefronts in a nycha building on Avenue A suggests that the proported plans to sell NYCHA property to developers could be more fact than fantasy.

Does anybody know if apartments at First Houses are being warehoused or are all units currently rented and occupied?

chris flash said...

Great job documenting the empty Avenue A storefronts....seeing them laid out this way powerfully makes the point!

I remember when stores along First Avenue, Avenue A + Avenue B were all small locally-owned businesses, as recently as the late 80s - early 90s. Nothing sexy or fancy or corporate: just things that residents wanted and NEEDED, like hardware stores; buttons, sewing and notions; affordable caf├ęs, restaurants and delis; record shops; small clubs; cheap clothing outlets....

These businesses were an essential part of the fabric holding the Lower East Side's delicate economy together. Once these locations were rented to transient tenants willing to pay inflated rents (until they too failed to keep up), residential rents went up accordingly. We all know the compounding effect this has had.

By the way: has anyone considered just HOW banks can afford to rent corner storefronts at double digit rents (over $10-20-30k per month?) Because federal law allows them to lend TEN TIMES more money than they actually have on deposit. This is called "fractional reserve banking." This means that they're not getting a mere 5-6% on their loans; they're reaping 50-60% on money they're lending out that they don't even HAVE!!

If any of US engaged in this sort of activity, we'd be prosecuted for FRAUD!!

Just as we can rid ourselves of businesses that are killing our neighborhood by boycotting, we can do the same to the banks that push our neighborhood businesses out -- if depositors remove enough cash, the banks get fucked because they must maintain a certain portion of cash on hand at all times because they are lending out more than they have on deposit. This alone can caused them to be shut down by the FDIC.

Boycott: Try it, you'll like it!!

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous commenter regarding the NYCHA vacant storefronts:

I know one store owner who was going to expand into one of those spaces but when the economy tanked, he pulled back. One or two others have had new occupants in the past 2 years so I don't think they're warehousing as you suspect. One problem a potential renter mentioned to me is that they don't allow food preparation on the premises, so restaurants and food shops aren't interested. There was a coffee shop on the corner 3 & A spot, but they specifically weren't allowed to make any food there (sandwiches, eggs, etc.), they could only sell it.

Otherwise, there are so many other available spaces on Ave A (as this piece illustrates), that potential renters have plenty of better looking options. Frankly many of those have been unoccupied for such a long time that it's clear Avenue A isn't a great retail area. You have much higher disposable incomes and spending in places like Williamsburg.