Back in February we reported that Icon Realty was the new owner of 57 Second Ave., the 10-story building between East Third Street and East Fourth Street.
This meant that the two retail tenants — Alex Shoe Repair and Allied Hardware, who were both on a month-to-month lease — would not be around much longer.
Well, today is the last day for Alex Shoe Repair.
Earlier this week, the Lo-Down published an interview with the shop's proprietor:
Born and raised in Uzbekistan in a Jewish family with four brothers and five sisters, Amnun “Alex” Kariyev immigrated to Chicago where he worked in a cable manufacturing company. Looking to run a business of his own, he went to school at night to learn the art of shoe repair.
Alex came to New York City and in 1986 set up shop on Second Avenue. When he started out, the rent was only $1,000, which might seem very low for the nicely proportioned 1,000 square foot space. But back then, Alex recalls, all of lower Second Avenue below 4th Street was “a no man’s land.”
He bears no grudge against Icon Realty, who have given him his final month in the location free of charge. Having lived through the brand of Communism imposed by the former USSR, Alex says he believes in capitalism and that — at the price Icon paid for the property — they have the right to make money.
Alex was paying $4,000 a month in rent. The new asking rent is $14,000.
This Alex is now sending his customers to the unrelated Alex Shoe Repair at 71 First Ave. between East Fourth Street and East Fifth Street.
Previously on EV Grieve:
57 Second Ave. hits the market for $30 million
Reader report: Icon Realty new owner of 57 Second Ave.