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Storefronting: Special West Village Carnage Edition

Storefronting is Curbed's regular look at the changing retail scene, with an emphasis on how it impacts neighborhoods. Got a tip for Storefronting? Please let us know. Thanks.

1) Seventh Avenue South (between Charles/W10th): Writes NYCBlocks, "While surveying the streetscape this week, I noticed, really noticed for the first time, that the entire block was riddled with commercial casualties. Almost every business there has folded or changed hands in recent months... Like other paranoiacs, I do not believe in coincidences. There must be a reason for so much bad fortune all at once, some catastrophe or mustachioed villain behind my observation. Not so, according to Andrew Pittel, of Pittel and Co. 'A bunch of leases just came up at the same time,' said Pittel, a broker who is familiar with the area." [NYCBlocks]

2) Bleecker Street (between Perry/Charles): The Shophound reports, "Clary & Co., the charming antique shop at 372-374 Bleecker Street (above) couldn't be long for that address as rents were skyrocketing on those few precious blocks. And just last week it was announced that Coach would be taking over the location, because Manhattan needs another Coach store. Apparently the NINE we have already aren't serving the market adequately... Bleecker is officially over. " [The Shophound]

3) West 8th Street (between Broadway/Sixth Ave.): Emails a Storefronting reader, "I moved to W 8th Street in the village just shy of 4 years ago. It was a great street booming with business. Now, sometime later I feel it may be one of the worst stretches of real estate in Manhattan. In the last year, so many upstarts have tried to take advantage of the street. We had a great Indian Restaurant (Von Singh's), a Bagel shop, a creperie (Mon Repas) a cream puff shop (Choux Factory), a Tacqueria (Pio Maya), a Dominos and Subway open up. Only the last three remain, and obviously only one is a non-megachain."

The reader continues: "Half of the stores on the street sit vacant now and I'm certain it's because of high rents. One of two recent NYT articles about the block did mention that Pio Maya pays $7500 a month in rent for their miniscule space, and the landlord was quoted as saying that was almost half of what they should be asking (they want $100/sq ft.). But the final straw was last night. On returning home, I noticed that the TLA Video (the only video store around, and I will argue the best video store I have seen in the city) announced it is closing. I'll add it to a depressing list of things that made the street what it was that are no longer. How do we let these landlords know that they are ruining a place, and destroying the quality of life for everyone who lives around it? I also encourage everyone to step up supporting what little we have on the street because if the trend prevails, it won't be there for much longer.

What can a neighborhood do?"
· Storefronting: TLA Video Shuttering [Curbed]