Back in November I made the rather predictable prediction that the low-rise buildings on the southeast corner of 14th and 3rd would soon fall. Curbed confirmed it in December, revealing the big, glass-box monstrosity to come. And this week, the corner has fallen into rubble.
more pics of 14th and 3rd
I don't think it's a coincidence that this corner has come down so soon after the rise of the Toll Brothers' gargantua, 110 Third. It seems that wherever luxury condos sprout, their low-rise neighbors come down within months. Is it condoschmerz, that killer virus, that poisons everything in the vicinity?
Look at what has happened to the block of 6th Avenue between 17th and 18th. Earlier this year, the super-expensive ($1400 a square foot) 100 West 18th condo moved in and quickly added a chainbank-trifecta of Chase, Modell's, and Duane Reade on its first floors.
Today, the rest of the block, except for one holdout frame shop, has shuttered. Two video shops closed, including Red Light District, which moved to 8th and 21st. New York City Bagels is closed and For Rent. And World Famous Pizza, on the corner of 17th, is already gutted and halfway to renovated. That's four small businesses dropped dead. Let's not be surprised when these low-rises come crashing down for yet another glass box.
look who's come to visit the dead pizza corner!
more pics of 17th and 6th
The debate here is not about the inherent value of bagel shops, adult video stores, and tanning salons. It's about the breakneck pace of destruction in this town and the way luxury buildings commit mass murder--not only do they destroy the businesses and homes they immediately replace, they also have a domino effect. Just being in proximity to them is hazardous to the health of the city's diversity and human scale.
So what's next to go? My crystal ball says it will be the southwest corner of 14th and 3rd, where these low buildings look like doomed woodland creatures trembling in the crosshairs of the Toll Brothers' big gun: