Pearl Paint, the beloved downtown art supply store, closed in 2014, but a piece of the shop still lives on—in the new, pricey rentals that have just hit the market in its former Canal Street headquarters. Listings for four apartments that sit atop the former art shop just appeared, with the cheapest going for $16,000/month, and the priciest—a top-floor penthouse—asking $18,000/month.
The backstory: The store closed in 2014, ending an eight-decade run as “the supplier of choice to multiple generations of established and emerging downtown art stars,” as New York put it. It was snapped up by Vornado Realty Trust not long after, with a residential conversion as the end game.
Now, almost three years to the day after Pearl shuttered its doors for good, those listings have debuted. Unsurprisingly, they’re using the store as a selling point: the brokerbabble touts the apartments as being part of “the stunning residential conversion of the iconic art store,” and the neon “Pearl Paint” sign that once hung on the flagship is now installed in the building’s lobby. (One could see this as either a nice piece of historic preservation, or an egregious way of capitalizing on the store’s historic cachet. We’ll let you make that call.)
The apartments themselves are nice, if nothing we haven’t seen before. Each unit is a full-floor loft measuring 2,365 square feet, with the usual spate of fancy features: wine fridge, nice appliances, radiant floors in the bathroom, you get the idea. Some of the building’s prewar details—columns in the living room, exposed brick—remain, and each apartment has a large “great room” with huge windows.
They’re priced as follows: the second-floor unit is $16,000/month; the third floor is going for $16,500; the fourth floor is asking $17,000/month; and the penthouse, which has south-facing views, is asking $18,000/month. The floorplan for each unit is basically the same:
So that’s New York real estate in 2017 for you: an iconic business that served a community goes, and a luxury residence pops up in its place.
The smaller of Pearl Paint’s buildings, located next door at 308-310 Canal Street, is in the process of going mixed-use, but has been facing a tough time at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. That structure, which is owned by Trans World Properties, is part of a historic district, and a two-story addition to the structure was called “overwhelming” by the LPC.
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