1) Whoa, whoa, whoa. Nolita is not over. You'll remember that we were assured on Wednesday that the restos are still good. Well, now we learn that the dispossessed dry cleaner who prompted the original query about the nabe's demise is still starchin' in the hood. A reader reports, "While I'm not too keen on Ralph Lauren being a stone's throw away (I live on Mott between Prince and Spring), I just wanted to note that we didn't actually lose the drycleaner/laundromat that used to be on that corner. They just moved across the street." Meanwhile, our first rumbler emails back with this heartening news: "By the way, there is a store on my street that seems to sell nothing but newsboy caps in various fabrics. If that's not a strong business model I don't know what is!"
2) What to make of the vacant storefronts on 1st Ave. between 71st and 72nd? Condos, of course. One reader says condos, but the majority says more NY Presbyterian hospital. To wit, "The group of buildings taking up the block on First Avenue between 71st and 72nd are all owned by NY Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. For a long time they were housing for hospital employees who paid somewhat discounted rents for apartments ranging from spacious to ugly and cramped. Well, the hospital is expanding. All tenants either had their leases non-renewed (hospital employees) or were given incentives to move (pre-hospital ownership tenants). The whole shebang will be knocked down and replaced with a shiny new Hospital building. Obviously the commercial tenants had to vamoose as well."
3) How about the "church" on Atlantic? "It's actually a temple. i saw a couple of men coming out of it today and asked what it was going to be. one man said that the ground floor would be a restaurant (owned by his brother) and the top 2 floors would be condos. the restaurant won't be open until the spring, the condos won't be inhabited until the summer."
4) Onward to 23rd and 3rd, an exciting locale if ever there was one. One rumbler says new NYU dorm. Entirely possible given the nabe's bookish charms, though we believe this space may in fact be the future home of a giant new J.D. Carlisle condo complex and another sign that the entire east side will one day be known simply as Greater Murray Hill.
After the jump, a related story that'll make you wish a developer has his eye on your rat-infested walk-up in the lower '20s.
"I had a friend who lived in one of the apartment buildings on 3rd Ave. and 23rd St. that is now no more than a gaping hole in the ground. He had lived there for almost ten years, only paying rent on his huge 1BR 5th floor walkup with working fireplace for the first eight months he was there. In talking to the other tenants in the building, he soon discovered that the building's owners had inherited the place, which was, frankly, a bit of a fixer-upper, and that it would have cost the owners more in taxes and repairs than it would have earned them in rent. So, my friend lived there for free, doing repairs on the roof himself, painting the hallways and stairwells, and hauling his own firewood up and down those five very steep flights of stairs. Hey, for free rent, who wouldn't?
"But wait, the story gets better. He learned about eight years into his residency there that the building, along with others on that block, was being sold to developers who would be building a luxury condo or rental development. The developers had to buy out the tenants rather than throw them out on their asses (especially as many of the tenants had been there for twenty years or more). The tenants' compensation? A comparable apartment to their current one, somewhere in Manhattan, rent free for life; or a big stinkin' wad of cash approaching the seven-figure mark. My friend (wisely) chose the cash and got the hell out of dodge, and he's now living quite comfortably in sunny SoCal. The end."
· Rumblings and Bumblings: Is Nolita Over or Something? [Curbed]