Thursday, April 18, 2019

A look at the all-new Houston Lafayette-Broadway corridor

Here we are over on East Houston at Lafayette looking west toward Broadway where two new developments are nearing completion — 300 Lafayette (picture above left) and 606 Broadway.

• 300 Lafayette

A 7-story boutique office building with luxury retail has risen on the former site of a BP station and the Irish pub Puck Fair. In total, the building will include 30,000 square feet of retail and 53,000 square feet of office space.

[Rendering via]

...and how the corner looked in 2016...

[EVG photo]


606 Broadway

A 6-story mixed-use building now stands on that sliver of space between Broadway and Crosby. The building will sport about 11,500 square feet of retail space on the first and second floors with 22,751 square feet of office space on floors three to six.

Until late 2014, the space at Broadway housed the Honest Boy fruit stand for years.

[Photo from April 2014 via Vanishing New York]


Anonymous said...

Wow so BREATHtakingly colorless and soulless!

JM said...

I miss the pre-glass cramming of the city. And the Whale of a Car Wash. And the Honest Boy fruit stand. And the gas stations. And a lot more.

Gojira said...

The dichotomy between the images of the colorful, welcoming, open-to-everyone street life in the earlier photos and the stark, forbidding, hermetically sealed off blocks of "luxury" show just how far down the ladder of livability this city has descended. For those interested in such things, today's Post has an article about how Our Dear Mayor violated ethics laws in soliciting donations from, among others, real estate developers. Some highlights:

"DOI interviewed four separate developers — identities all redacted — that had business before de Blasio appointees as Hizzoner tried to grease them to donate to his nonprofit.

Hizzoner told investigators in all four cases he either did not remember speaking to the developers or “remembered no details of the communication,” the DOI summary reported.

Unnamed Developer A told investigators they had business before three city agencies when they met with Hizzoner and an unnamed staffer for 20 minutes in February or March 2015, where the staffer spoke about raising money for the Mayor’s priorities. Records show that Developer A cut the Campaign for One New York a check in March 2015.

In a second case, Developer C cut two checks to the Campaign for One New York — in February 2014 and April 2015 — while having business pending before the city."

cmarrtyy said...

I'm glad you mentioned it was the Houston corridor. I was thinking Cleveland. How bland we've become. WHERE IS ARCHITECTURAL PERSONALITY?! This is what happens when you have BAD DESIGN RULE!

Giovanni said...

Welcome to the Houston Street Horridor, paving over the New York's past for fun and profit.Here's a few other things I miss about New York:

Azuma, with all the Japanese style household goods you could ever need

Bowlmor, with those creaky old lanes that would steal your ball before they renovated

The Cheyenne Diner, one of the last of the old railroad car diners

The Ritz, a great concert venue

Angelica Kitchen, where vegetarians discovered extreme veganism

Blarney Cove, and all the other old time bars

Mitali, the best samosas and one of the darkest restaurants ever

Sonali, one of the few 6th Street Indian restaurants that didn’t seem to share the same kitchen with all the others

De Robertis Pasticceria, now a gourmet bagel store instead of a center of the community

Tortilla Flats, for those late afternoon and late night Mexican binges

H&H Bagels, where a bag of warm bagels on a cold snowy night was all you needed to survive.

Original Ray’s Pizza, the cheesiest slices in pizza history

Cornelia Street Cafe, a true West Village institution

Life Cafe, for great brunches and the best veggie chili

Disco Donut, where the club kids and hookers hung out at 4AM

The Magic Pan, for amazing crepes

The Roxy, where you could roller skate while Africa Bambaata and the Soul Sonic Force performed

One Fifth, with the brass fittings of a cruise ship felt like eating on a luxury lines

Isabella’s, an Upper West Side eatery that actually served good food

Brentano’s, which also sold cool puzzles and gets like the Pet Rock

Boomers, the jazz restaurant that preceded Manatus, when Bleecker Street still had class and culture

Love Saves The Day, the best retro toys and clothing ever

!Carumba! Home of the Ridicuous size margarita and a guaranteed hangover

Christine’s, great family style Polish food restaurant

Kiev, where the punks ate pierogies

Neptune Diner, yet another Polish restaurant lost for no good reason besides greed

Dojo’s, the best soy burger dinner, Yakisoba noodles, and the best cheap eats in town

Global 33, an East Village tapas bar with DJs from Save The Robots

Shaheen Sweets, where all the Indian cab drivers ate lunch

Canal Jeans, where you would shop every Saturday afternoon before going clubbing

Pearl Paint, with the creaky old staircase and biggest selection of art supplies

Kim’s Video, when we used to browse endless VHS boxes and then DVDs

Saints Alp Teahouse, for bubble tea and first dates.

Bon Marché, overpriced but very stylish furnishings.

Sk Rink, where you could ice skate in July high above the Hudson River.

Lamston’s, the original and more interesting version of CVS

Woolworth’s, with the lunch counters featuring hot dogs that cooked on hot metal rollers all day long

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories, Geovanni.
I don't think I remember "Chrtistine's". Are you thinking of "Theresa's"?
I still have a couple of very thread bare Canal Jeans dyed Tshirts.

Anonymous said...

@5:33pm: Your list is going to make me cry! Remember when Azuma had THE most exotic items that one could imagine, and couldn't get anywhere else?

As to the new, bland buildings, I'd far rather have the gas station & the car wash. And I wonder what the air quality is in those new "luxury" condos - free supply of "eau de Houston St." with every purchase!

Brian said...

Yes, New York had an extraordinary, unique retail environment. New and old. One of a kind stores. Many independent one of a kind specialty stores that can no longer survive in this real estate market and internet economy.

XTC said...

I really don't miss much from the old days of weird old NY save maybe Free Being records next to the B & H diner on 2nd ave
and the 24 hr Greek diner at Astor Pl. Ok, Pearl Paint would top the list. Azuma was nothing more than modern day dollar store
when plastic shits were made in Taiwan before China cornered the market. Christine's was salty as fuck, the food that is. I preferred the the Taj over Mitali but they were all pretty decent. Times change, one has to move on. I also don't think the new buildings above are at all "soulless". It's simply a different aesthetic.

Great student art show last night at NY Academy of Art. Fantastic new work at Patrick Parrish, and later drinks at the Prada Shop on Broadway where one could still rub elbows with some very well known people. For me downtown is still a fun hang, different, but like no place else.

Giovanni said...

@9:44AM Christine’s was located on 1st Avenue near 12th St, where Balade is located now. It was a small Polish restaurant that closed about 10 years ago, and served great food. After they closed, Neptune Diner became the place to go. And now they are gone too. Here are a few more places I miss:

Alexanders, where everyone went to buy cheap socks, underwear and toasters. The last of the cheap, no-frills department stores

Buster Brown Shoes in StuyTown, where my mother would take me as a child to buy the most uncomfortable shoes imaginable.

Odd Lot, where you could buy cheap duct tape and bulk wrapped VHS tapes made in China, which usually broke or jammed up inside your machine.

Palisades Amusement Park, where every kid wanted to go due to their relentless, non-stop TV advertising.

Balducci’s, which was a West Village institution.You could not walk by without stopping in to look at the vast selection of baked goods and cheeses.

Tower Records, where teens spent countless hours browsing for records in the bargain bins with those yellow “The Nice Price” stickers on them.

Uncle Steves, another crazy Canal Street audio store

The Graveyard, located behind Trinity Church’s graveyard, one of the first real audiophile stores with hand made speakers made in small garages in New Jersey, and many small brands that no other store would ever carry.

Crazy Eddie, where the masses shopped for cheap Japanese brand TVs, receivers, amplifiers and turntables.

The Wiz, which supposedly nobody beat on price, but in reality it was all a bait and switch, and they never had the advertised model you were looking for.

J&R Music World, which made you walk up and down stairs between many different adjoining buildings to visit each of their various stores.

Willoughby’s, the old style camera store with the glass counters where mostly tourists went due to their high prices.

Olden Camera, for used camers and darkroom supplies.

Benny’s Burritos, the precursor to Chipotle which offered real margaritas and comfortable seating.

Chock Full O’Nuts, which were everywhere, just like Starbucks.

Howard Johnson’s, in Times Square, where you would go after a show or late night out for banana splits and ice cream sundaes, or hard liquor if you were grown up.

Playland Penny Arcade and skeeball lanes, where kids would line up their quarters on the video games to play whoever was the current champion.

Manic Panic, which had the biggest selection of punk fashion and hair dye in every color.

Reminiscence, a delicate little boutique store which was the polar opposite of Manic Panic.

Supreme Macaroni (as seen in The Professional), where you could eat pasta with actual mobsters.

Sunshine Cinema, which consistently showed higher quality independent films than have ever been shown at the Tribeca Film Festival

The Baronet and Coronet movie theaters, which had the best popcorn, for a weekend movie in midtown.

The Fun Gallery, by Patti Astor, who was of course from Ohio, where many local street artists got their start in the gallery world, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf.

The Academy of Music, which had Bruce Lee movie double features

Julian’s pool hall, above the Academy of Music, which was like a scene straight out of The Hustler.

The Village Voice, a weekly newspaper which we used to gladly pay for before it was free, with Michael Musto’s funny columns and the best classified ads in NY history. The back page “Missed Connections” with people looking for that guy or girl they had made eye contact with on the 6 train, was both funny and sad. All the lonely people, where do they all come from?

Anonymous said...

@Giovanni: Thank you for that amazing list - other than the Buster Brown shoes, it reads like a catalog of my younger years!

I remember when Balducci's carried specialty items that were hard to find anywhere else; I had an aunt who got interested in "professional cooking" classes (LONG before that was a "thing"), and she would phone me from Queens, asking if I could "just run over to Balducci's" to get her some exotic item her recipes required, which she would pick up when she drove in to visit me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful memories!

Anonymous said...

Microsoft has signed a lease for the upper floors and part of the ground floor at 300 Lafayette - the corner development on Lafayette and Houston.