Hey, it's still early in 2014. And there are many storylines to monitor in the coming year in the East Village. Here are 10 of them.
• Will 51 Astor Place be fully leased by the end of this month?
That's what developer Edward Minskoff told The Commercial Observer on Dec. 13. "By January 30 we’ll be 100 percent leased there, and that's all I'll say." Off to a fine start with the announced arrival yesterday of IBM's Watson. (Bonus question: Will Twitter be one of those new tenants? Bonus question No. 2: Who will fill those retail spaces?)
• What will happen with the former Amato Opera building on the Bowery?
The Amato Opera building has sat vacant since the company closed on May 31, 2009. A retail listing arrived for the ground-floor space about 17 months ago.
Current owner Steve Croman has plans to turn the circa-1899 structure into luxury residences, with the addition of a penthouse. However, the city hasn't approved those plans ... and there's still a Stop Work Order on the space dating to June.
• Will Extra Place becoming a dining destination?
It's question we've asked a lot these past few years... the former alley behind the former CBGB is currently restaurant-free after a few closures and Oaxaca Taqueria moving to East Seventh Street.
However, restaurants are on the way... including Red Hook Lobster Pound and a Momofuku outpost. "Left Bank" promise fulfilled seven years later?
• What will become of the Salvation Army's former East Village Residence?
The shelter closed here at the Bowery and East Third Street in August 2008. After a few false starts, there are now plans with the city to demolish the interior of the 3-story building, though there's no word on what's next here from the privately held real estate firm who owns the space.
• Where will the St. Mark's Bookshop move?
In November, Publishers Weekly reported that St. Mark's Bookshop had found a new retail space "in the East Village in a space near Avenue A and Third Street." The article didn't mention where, exactly, the rent-challenged new store will be. The owners have said that nothing has been signed yet for a new space.
• What will take the place of the former Odessa Cafe and Bar?
Oh, kind of a personal one as a longtime fan of the Odessa. Plans for a "new American brasserie/bistro" apparently fell through here. And the deal to reopen the Odessa Cafe and Bar at 117 Avenue A never materialized … and a for rent notice arrived on Dec. 28.
The Odessa Cafe and Bar closed after service on Aug. 31. The Odessa had been in operation here since 1965.
• Will this be the year that something actually happens at the former PS 64?
The former PS 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street has been rotting away these past 12-plus years. Perhaps the building will be converted into dorms. Or perhaps the building would return to the community, the preferred choice among some residents and activists.
• What will become of the soon-to-be-former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office?
This branch on East 14th Street is apparently closing in the coming months. The USPS will lease the former Duane Reade on East 14th Street near First Avenue for retail services, such as stamp sales and P.O. boxes.
The lease expires at the current location at the end of next month. The landlord reportedly told the USPS that they have other plans (residential?) for the building, which was erected in 1951.
And it appears the big clear out has already begun — Dave on 7th recently spotted these sorting tables (pictured above) stacked up on the loading zone on the East 13th Street side.
• What East Village mainstay will close next?
We don't want to make this a sport. But Christ. The year is nine days old and we've already lost Sapparo East (and maybe Shima) as well as 7A.
... and on this note...
• What will some developer buy in 2014 to convert to upscale housing?
So many choices! Churches! Two public libraries! A power plant! A men's shelter! A big Park in the middle of the East Village!
This isn't meant to be any kind of exhaustive list of stories to watch... What are you keeping your eye on here in 2014? Let us know in the comments...