When developer Rockrose won permission in the early '80s to convert the gorgeous red-brick Federal Archive Building at the corner of Greenwich and Christopher Streets into luxury apartments, there was a catch: the company had to lease a combined 54,000 square feet of retail space to local nonprofit groups whose rent would be 80% of the market rate. Four small theater groups signed on for 25-year leases?leases that are up at the end of this month. And in case you haven't noticed, the Far West Village has changed a bit over the past couple decades, a fact that became very clear when Rockrose informed the nonprofits over the summer that their rents would rise by as much as 500 percent, the Times reports. This inspires a new round of what-made-the-Village-the-Village navel-gazing, but as for the theater groups, it's looking grim. Elected officials and the Empire State Development Corporation (the property's owner) are meeting with both sides to try and work out a compromise, but Rockrose has a 99-year lease on the building, so they have the final say. Enjoy your super-sized Duane Readebucks of America, West Village!
· Village Nonprofit Groups Say They Are Surprised by a Steep Rise in Rents [NYT]
[Photo via New York Architecture Images]