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Five Landmarks Along Canal Street Go Under the Knife

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Five old buildings at 312-322 Canal Street, until recently a tawdry set of storefronts along Counterfeiters Row, have been scrubbed clean of their gritty past. Where colorful canopies and knock-offs were once king, new bricks interspersed with 15 look-alike windows have taken over, another sign of the emergence of the sensitive side of this crowded crosstown thoroughfare.

This stretch first went up in 1825, a row of five two-and-a-half-story residences built by merchant Isaac Lawrence. The fronts were brick, with peaked slate-covered roofs. This most recent transformation is far from their first: in the 1890s a couple of floors were added up top and, in 1906, new owners had a plan to tear them down and build to match the 9-story Lispenard Street neighbors. That never happened, and in the 1960s all five were chopped to two floors. Since the south side of Canal became part of the Tribeca East Historic District in 1992, the original bits of 312-322 Canal have been hidden behind mismatched canopies and roll-down gates.

So what's next? One vision for the future is an urban strip mall featuring fast food, competition for the new Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen across Canal. One listing shows that the 115' frontage has nearly 7,000 square feet available, divisible in slots from 600 to 1,800 square feet, with pricing in the $300 sf/year range. That's a lot of burgers to flip!
· In the Real Estate Field - To Build on Canal Street [New York Times]
· 310-322 Canal Street [LoopNet]
· Canal Street coverage [Curbed]