Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The blanding of Union Square West

Bloomberg files an article on the escalating rents on Union Square West that are forcing restaurants such as the Blue Water Grill and Republic to close or relocate.

Some passages from the piece...

Rising rents and real estate turnover are hardly new phenomena, but Union Square West, along with other desirable residential areas of New York ... have seen their rents become so prohibitive that most of their restaurants — with the exception of chains, or flagship “loss-leaders” — are forced to move elsewhere.

And!

“When rents go up, it makes the viability of restaurants harder,” said Stephen Sunderland, the senior managing director of Optimal Spaces, a tenant broker in the city. “You have to think of restaurants as artists, or neighborhood pioneers,” he explained. “They come into a neighborhood, it becomes hip, and that’s the source of their demise,” he said. “They create the trends that undo them.”

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Republic has been my favorite since it opened, the food is fresh, delicious and without pretense. I always imagined it was a huge success and well funded and the thought it would be forced out due to landlord greed was unimaginable until today. Our city will soon be without any independent businesses and chains will prevail which will suit the tourists. As Amazon and other online shopping and service companies are seeking to wipe out retail as we have known it for a century sooner or later places like Macy's Bloomingdales, and countless smaller retailers will perish as everything we buy will come via UPS. What will the city look like in another 10-20 years? What will fill all those empty storefronts?

Donnie Moder said...

Let's just get it over with and require a Starbucks, Dunking Doughnuts, Pret, Chipolte, 7-11, Dune Reade food section, and 4 additional interchangeable coffee outlets on every block.

cmarrtyy said...

That's what you get when you have unbridled development. Everybody suffers except the developers. We know where are politicians are... pushing zoning changes through to benefit development! One party rule is destroying this town. OPEN PRIMARIES!

Anonymous said...

New York Observer had a [similar] piece on this in 2014, http://observer.com/2014/05/bland-luxury-restaurants-gobble-up-new-yorks-public-spaces/. Here, the article instead talks about how the bland and luxurized restaurants are taking over public spaces in the area...

Anonymous said...

I concur with many on here. I shutter to imagine what this area will look like in 10 years. 5 years even.

Republic is a great spot. The food is delicious. I spent many a time here in between classes at The New School. Also, the loss of French Roast, which will close tonight on West 11th and Sixth is a huge loss. I spent numerous hours there studying, meeting up with friends, and having brunch before class. This closure signifies the end of so much around us. With several closings in process, where will one go to eat that is original and quaint?

No more fucking chains. I am bummed now. :(

Edmund Dunn said...

"But in New York City? “Crickets,” as Kirsten Theodos would say. She’s the passionate coordinator of Take Back NYC, which advocates for passage of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, or SBJSA, the only measure to directly address the matter of rent rates and lease renewal, which is what proprietors will tell you is their number-one problem."


https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/07/how-cities-can-save-small-shops/534684/

Anonymous said...

The Blue Water Grill is a nice but overpriced tourist destination that holds their best tables for those staying at the most expensive hotels .If you cal them directly they will tell you they are booked, but if you use the concierge at an upscale hotel all of a sudden the tables open up. They just want as much of your money as they can get, just like the landlord.

Anonymous said...

No more Republic? Fuck you city.

Anonymous said...

@5:49 PM
Well of course. How else would they pay said money, to said landlord, if they didn't?

Anonymous said...

NYC is dying. I have no idea what this place is turning into. The only things I see are divisiveness, corruption, and greed. Only the ultra wealthy can subsist here. The rest of us, the artists, the visionaries, the dreamers, the average joes, those who work two jobs just to pay rent are being pushed out.

In less than five years, it will be virtually impossible to live here without making 100k a year. Mark my words. I used to love this city with all my heart. Now, I fucking hate it. Time to find a new home away from the madness and greed.

Anonymous said...

Do it 9:25pm.

I firmly believe all creative people should move out of the city. If they did, it'd be just consumers and workers, the city would be boring, and so many of these people would move away the rents would plummet. If not, let them overpay to live here.

Seriously, this is a HUGE country where art, creation, invention etc. came from all over. It's still like that.

PJ said...

Gentrification in that spot seemed to start in, I'm going to say, late 80s maybe. Because until then, "Coffee Shop" was just that.

A greasy spoon with an outdated look till somebody came by and spread the magic fairy dust on it and made it "hip"...

Anonymous said...

It's going to have to swing back: there are only so many barbers and things you can't get on the Internet that can occupy these spaces. Landlords are not bright and greedy: you think they'd see the Internet as a very real competitor and try to work to keep tenants in, not push them out. You can only write off the lost rent for so long. Profits are still better than written-off loss.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on! NYC is NOT dying. Change can certainly feel like death though. And divisiveness, corruption and greed were here yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. The only time there might -- might! -- have been anything else is when people existed in small, largely homogeneous communities where division, corruption and greed were antithetical to survival and impossible to get away with; you'd take the troublemakers out on a hunting trip and come back with some meat minus the troublemakers. But we're more sophisticated than that today and recognize such communities to be backwards, isolationist and racist. So, what are you going to do?

And I don't know what this other person is talking about, a huge country where art came from? What Los Angeles? Cuz all I know is New York and Los Angeles and some barren wasteland in between where the hills have eyes.

Anonymous said...

Hey clueless at 2:54pm. Most art comes from between NY and LA.

Dayton, OH was an inventors' haven with more patents than any other American city. The birthplace of the airplane, the single-starter engine, the cash register, and many more things.





Anonymous said...

Um, no. This is a new kind of change in the city, including the pushing out of small locally owned businesses by chains.

aliasfox said...

West Bleeker is Union Square's canary. Local shops, joined by national chains, forced out by flagships, then the flagships themselves close, leaving a streetscape wasteland, perhaps not too different from the 80s (from a retail point of view)? Let's hope landlords wise up, drop the rent, and allow somebody to take the vacant spaces so that the cycle can start again.