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The Retail Apocalypse, Multi-Mansion Compounds, and Other News

Here’s everything else that’s been happening around the city this week.

Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock

Has NYC’s Retail Apocalypse Arrived?

Both residential and commercial tenants in New York have had a reprieve from evictions since mid-March, but protections for the local delis, laundromats, nail salons, and other businesses New Yorkers rely on are about to run out. This week the state’s Office of Court Administration extended a moratorium on evictions for residential tenants through October 1, but offered no new protection for commercial tenants. That clears the way for commercial eviction cases to move forward starting August 20. And for businesses with pending eviction warrants, city marshals can begin to remove them from storefronts. The move could open the door for mass evictions for retailers, and threatens to reshape commercial corridors and entire neighborhoods as major chains and mom-and-pop shops alike struggle to claw themselves out of a pandemic-induced financial pit.

Major retail chains might not have had issues paying rent, but with COVID-19 keeping shoppers off the streets they are feeling the crunch too. The sustained lack of foot traffic is triggering a retail exodus from Manhattan’s core, the New York Times reports. JCPenney, Kate Spade, Le Pain Quotidien, and others have permanently shuttered stores across the borough, while other brands — like Victoria’s Secret and the Gap — have kept their high-profile locations closed in Manhattan as they reopen in other states. Even as the city slowly reopens, it’s become increasingly difficult for brands to justify New York’s astronomical rents without the city’s reliable onslaught of tourists and commuters. As Michael Weinstein, who owns Bryant Park Grill & Cafe and 19 other restaurants, put it to the Times: “There’s no reason to do business in New York.”

Wealthy New Yorkers Double and Triple Up on Hamptons Houses (and Other Real Estate News)

Ultra-rich New Yorkers are “compounding” or buying several eight-figure homes in the Hamptons at a time, an agent told Vanity Fair. With adult children moving back home, who can survive quarantine with just one mansion?

In late July, the beleaguered New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced another attempt to rescue hundreds of developments around the city. The new “Blueprint for Change,” focuses on 110,000 units that need $25 billion in repairs. Here’s an explainer on the plan.

A surviving section of the Angel Guardian Home — a former orphanage in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, that was sold to a developer in 2018 and largely demolished — may soon become a landmark. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hold a hearing next week to discuss the fate of the embattled, century-old structure.

Every dream rental has its drawbacks; for a yellow-clapboard house in Park Slope, it’s the landlord, Bill de Blasio.

Other Stuff Going on Around Town

Citi Bike said in May that it would add thousands of new e-bikes to its fleet by the end of the summer; according to Gothamist, they’ve added less than 100.

Here’s how air and Covid-carrying aerosols circulate through subway cars.

The largest building in Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side, The Artisan, has launched apartment sales.

The mayor said not to buy a car; a record number of New Yorkers said vroom vroom.

Efforts to use parks and streets for open-air classrooms as part of the city’s attempt to safely reopen schools have run into snags with ... the city.