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Beloved Manhattan Art Supply Store Will Close Thanks to Influx of Supertalls

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The building it's in reportedly sold for $85 million

The massive development taking place on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, otherwise known as "Billionaires' Row," has claimed another victim — this time it's the decades old, Lee's Art Shop at 220 West 57th Street. The art supplies shop will likely be replaced by a single high-end retail tenant like the Ralph Lauren flagship store at East 72nd Street and Madison Avenue, the New York Times reports.

Upon the deaths of the original owners of the store — Gilbert Steinberg and his wife, Ruth, the business passed on to their sons, who in 2013 decided to sell the building for $65 million. That particular sale didn't move forward, but the following year, the family struck a deal with Thor Equities and General Growth Properties worth $85 million. That deal is likely to close next month, according to the Times.

In the meantime, many of the shelves in the store are now empty and items are being marked down by as much as 75 percent. The 120-year-old building that Lee's currently occupies was first home to a clubhouse for the American Society of Civil Engineers. That was followed by a restaurant. Steinberg, who leased a 500-square foot space across the street from this building began leasing the ground floor in the 1970s, and eventually purchased the entire building in the 1990s. In subsequent years, he spent millions on renovations and increased the size of the retail space as well.

But as skyscrapers like One57, and Central Park Tower (in the future) begin to dominate the 57th Street skyline, so too is the nature of retail on the street changing with Nordstrom set to anchor the lower levels in the latter building. The Steinbergs don't plan to open another location for Lee's once the current one shutters.