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Mapping the NYC institutions shuttered by rising rents in 2016

These 14 businesses closed thanks to the capricious NYC real estate market

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It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture and neighborhood universes of New York City! Yep, it's time for the 13th Annual Curbed Awards! Up now: businesses we lost in 2016.

It's an all-too-common refrain in New York City: small businesses, facing the astronomical cost of operating in the five boroughs, are forced to close up shop. And while rising rents aren't always to blame for the demise of longtime NYC businesses—see the Carnegie Deli, whose owner decided to retire, or the proprietors of Brooklyn indie BookCourt—they've claimed plenty of beloved stores this year. (And it's not just limited to small businesses, either—even a big chain like Barnes & Noble isn't immune.)

So here now are 14 NYC businesses that closed thanks to rising rents this year—and if we missed one, let us know in the comments. (Looking for restaurant closings? Eater NY has you covered.)

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1. St. Marks Book Shop

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136 E 3rd St
New York, NY 10009

2. Four Seasons Restaurant

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375 Park Ave
New York, NY 10152

Losses don't get much more painful than this: The Midtown icon, located in Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, finally closed its doors in July after a protracted back-and-forth with landlord Aby Rosen (that included him trying to renovate the restaurant's gorgeous midcentury modern interiors). Rosen ultimately decided not to renew the restaurant's lease, preferring to bring in a "cool" new tenant—Major Food Group—while the Four Seasons' owners move to a new space a few blocks away. An auction over the summer drastically changed the look of the iconic room, with pieces by Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen, and Ada Louise Huxtable snapped up by wealthy buyers.

3. New York Central Art Supply

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62 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Since 1905 New York Central Art Supply, located at 62 Third Avenue at the corner of East 11th Street, has operated under the leadership of the Steinberg family. In a blog post dated July 11, the family announced it will be closing up shop by the end of summer and is in the process of selling off its remaining inventory at steep discounts, as well as entertaining offers to acquire the store’s inventory and intellectual property. The post doesn’t elaborate on who purchased the site, but notes that "[t]he building we have called home since 1905 is being sold and we must vacate it." No sales have hit public record, and the Steinbergs were not immediately reachable for comment.

4. Lee's Art Shop

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220 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 247-0110
Visit Website

The massive development taking place on 57th Street claimed another victim: 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. As skyscrapers like One57, and Central Park Tower (in the future) begin to dominate the 57th Street skyline, the nature of retail on the street is changing: Nordstrom set to anchor the lower levels in the latter building. The family that owned the shop doesn't plan to open another location for Lee's once the current one shutters.

5. Ziegfeld Theatre

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141 W 54th St
New York, NY 10019

The writing had been on the wall for the Ziegfeld for some time, and its time came in January: The charming single-screen movie theater, which had been in operation since 1969, closed for good. The reason? According to Cablevision CEO James Dolan, which operated the theater, it "loses a lot of money." A high-end event space will open in its place.

6. Trash and Vaudeville

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4 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003

Thankfully, this East Village icon—a purveyor of funky clothing and accessories to punk icons and tourists alike for more than 40 years—didn't close completely, instead moving to a new storefront on East 7th Street at the beginning of 2016. But rising rents were a factor in the shop's decision to vacate its longtime St. Marks Place home. That building (which was once home to Alexander Hamilton Jr.) later sold for a cool $10 million, and is in the process of getting an LPC-approved restoration.

7. Tekserve

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119 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
The New York Times. “But there comes a point where that doesn’t make sense anymore, as much as we love it.”

A photo posted by LIFE IS BEAUTYFUL. (@kristeia) on

8. D'Agostino

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790 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 691-9198
Visit Website

After an 84-year run, New York City grocery chain D’Agostino is closing its remaining stores. At its peak, the family-owned supermarket operated 26 stores, but over the years, many of the stores shut down, reducing the amount in operation to a single digit. Facing tough competition from chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and the many delivery services that continue to pop up, as well as rising rent prices, the family-owned supermarket chain may be ending its independent run after years of struggling. It's just one of many grocery chains that have disappeared in the past few years.

9. Other Music

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15 E 4th St
New York, NY 10003

A photo posted by Ghostly (@ghostly) on

10. Bleecker Street Records

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188 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10014

11. Rebel Rebel Records

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319 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

A photo posted by Ed Burstell (@edburstell) on

12. Cake Shop

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152 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 253-0036
Visit Website

A photo posted by Chris Enriquez (@powerchild) on

13. Troll Museum

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124 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

New York City’s only Troll Museum is no more. The museum, run by downtown performance artist Reverend Jen Miller out of her Lower East Side home of two decades, was a beloved unofficial landmark that was a remaining vestige of the neighborhood's eclectic underground culture. Rev. Jen, known by some as "The Elf" and to others as the local motherly figure, was blindsided when she was presented with an eviction notice from her home of two decades; she blamed the eviction on her building's rent-stabilized status. The apartment she vacated is just one of three remaining rent-stabilized units in the building. Miller was paying $1,590 a month.

14. Barnes & Noble

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290 Baychester Ave
Bronx, NY 10475

The Bronx will lose one of its beloved gems as the borough’s only major bookstore, Barnes & Noble has announced plans to shutter it doors. The Bay Plaza Shopping center bookstore will close due to a rent increase that will welcome a Saks Off 5th retail store in its place, sparking outrage among Bronx residents. In 2014, the bookstore, which has been open in Bay Plaza since 1999, was nearly forced to close due to the same scenario, but local officials were able to help the chain and the site’s developers come to a common agreement. This time, they weren’t so lucky.

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1. St. Marks Book Shop

136 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009
136 E 3rd St
New York, NY 10009

2. Four Seasons Restaurant

375 Park Ave, New York, NY 10152

Losses don't get much more painful than this: The Midtown icon, located in Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, finally closed its doors in July after a protracted back-and-forth with landlord Aby Rosen (that included him trying to renovate the restaurant's gorgeous midcentury modern interiors). Rosen ultimately decided not to renew the restaurant's lease, preferring to bring in a "cool" new tenant—Major Food Group—while the Four Seasons' owners move to a new space a few blocks away. An auction over the summer drastically changed the look of the iconic room, with pieces by Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen, and Ada Louise Huxtable snapped up by wealthy buyers.

375 Park Ave
New York, NY 10152

3. New York Central Art Supply

62 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Since 1905 New York Central Art Supply, located at 62 Third Avenue at the corner of East 11th Street, has operated under the leadership of the Steinberg family. In a blog post dated July 11, the family announced it will be closing up shop by the end of summer and is in the process of selling off its remaining inventory at steep discounts, as well as entertaining offers to acquire the store’s inventory and intellectual property. The post doesn’t elaborate on who purchased the site, but notes that "[t]he building we have called home since 1905 is being sold and we must vacate it." No sales have hit public record, and the Steinbergs were not immediately reachable for comment.

62 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

4. Lee's Art Shop

220 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

The massive development taking place on 57th Street claimed another victim: 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. As skyscrapers like One57, and Central Park Tower (in the future) begin to dominate the 57th Street skyline, the nature of retail on the street is changing: Nordstrom set to anchor the lower levels in the latter building. The family that owned the shop doesn't plan to open another location for Lee's once the current one shutters.

220 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019

5. Ziegfeld Theatre

141 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019

The writing had been on the wall for the Ziegfeld for some time, and its time came in January: The charming single-screen movie theater, which had been in operation since 1969, closed for good. The reason? According to Cablevision CEO James Dolan, which operated the theater, it "loses a lot of money." A high-end event space will open in its place.

141 W 54th St
New York, NY 10019

6. Trash and Vaudeville

4 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

Thankfully, this East Village icon—a purveyor of funky clothing and accessories to punk icons and tourists alike for more than 40 years—didn't close completely, instead moving to a new storefront on East 7th Street at the beginning of 2016. But rising rents were a factor in the shop's decision to vacate its longtime St. Marks Place home. That building (which was once home to Alexander Hamilton Jr.) later sold for a cool $10 million, and is in the process of getting an LPC-approved restoration.

4 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003

7. Tekserve

119 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
The New York Times. “But there comes a point where that doesn’t make sense anymore, as much as we love it.”

A photo posted by LIFE IS BEAUTYFUL. (@kristeia) on

119 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011

8. D'Agostino

790 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10014

After an 84-year run, New York City grocery chain D’Agostino is closing its remaining stores. At its peak, the family-owned supermarket operated 26 stores, but over the years, many of the stores shut down, reducing the amount in operation to a single digit. Facing tough competition from chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and the many delivery services that continue to pop up, as well as rising rent prices, the family-owned supermarket chain may be ending its independent run after years of struggling. It's just one of many grocery chains that have disappeared in the past few years.

790 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10014

9. Other Music

15 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003

A photo posted by Ghostly (@ghostly) on

15 E 4th St
New York, NY 10003

10. Bleecker Street Records

188 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
188 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10014

11. Rebel Rebel Records

319 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

A photo posted by Ed Burstell (@edburstell) on

319 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

12. Cake Shop

152 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

A photo posted by Chris Enriquez (@powerchild) on

152 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

13. Troll Museum

124 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

New York City’s only Troll Museum is no more. The museum, run by downtown performance artist Reverend Jen Miller out of her Lower East Side home of two decades, was a beloved unofficial landmark that was a remaining vestige of the neighborhood's eclectic underground culture. Rev. Jen, known by some as "The Elf" and to others as the local motherly figure, was blindsided when she was presented with an eviction notice from her home of two decades; she blamed the eviction on her building's rent-stabilized status. The apartment she vacated is just one of three remaining rent-stabilized units in the building. Miller was paying $1,590 a month.

124 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

14. Barnes & Noble

290 Baychester Ave, Bronx, NY 10475

The Bronx will lose one of its beloved gems as the borough’s only major bookstore, Barnes & Noble has announced plans to shutter it doors. The Bay Plaza Shopping center bookstore will close due to a rent increase that will welcome a Saks Off 5th retail store in its place, sparking outrage among Bronx residents. In 2014, the bookstore, which has been open in Bay Plaza since 1999, was nearly forced to close due to the same scenario, but local officials were able to help the chain and the site’s developers come to a common agreement. This time, they weren’t so lucky.

290 Baychester Ave
Bronx, NY 10475