Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shopping woes on the Lower East Side

Crain's checks in today with an article titled Lower East Side's fashion faux pax ... here are a few excerpts of the piece by Adrianne Pasquarelli:

Initially expected to be the next SoHo or West Village, the Lower East Side is getting an F as a shopping destination. Since February ... several other apparel shops, including trendy In God We Trust, have given up on the Lower East Side. Others, such as accessories purveyor Bag and fashion boutique Convent, have announced their imminent closures. Businesses complain that landlords, anticipating completed developments, have been jacking up rents, though several construction projects are still stalled with recession-related woes.


The influx of nightlife has only driven up rents, making the area even less appealing for emerging boutiques. In the past 18 months, asking prices in the neighborhood have jumped, increasing 20% following recession-related drops. Now, asking rents on prime streets range from $100 to $150 a square foot, while secondary areas are closer to $65 a square foot, according to brokers.


“If I was a landlord, I'd want to fill the block with cool local stores so the foot traffic is cool—we don't need another NoLIta or SoHo,” said Julie Noyce, In God We Trust's general manager. “The Lower East Side has always been for artists and rock 'n' rollers — if you get rid of that local flavor, then it's just Steve Madden and a bunch of bars.”


Anonymous said...

I am truly sorry these boutiques must close -- though perhaps not as sorry as I was about the closing of the cobblers and pickle vendors that they themselves displaced. But to think that the predatory equity companies and vicious slumlord families of the LES would ever give a molecule's fuck-worth about what is "cool" is rather naive, in 2011.

RLewis said...

I hope that CB3 understands that rejecting SLA license requests is an important tool for holding down rent rates, so that cool shops like these have a fair chance to succeed in the area.