Monday, March 19, 2012

Carmine's 2 Years Later

Two years ago, Carmine's at the Seaport was forced to close after 107 years in business when the landlord raised the rent to $13,000 a month.

Today it's still gutted and empty. In this depressing photo sent in from reader Frank, all that remains of Carmine's is the pressed-tin ceiling.



The Five Guys burger chain people were supposed to bring an upscale steakhouse here, but that was announced a year ago and the "For Lease" signs are still on Carmine's facade.

As Frank says, "Wouldn't it have been better to keep Carmine's in business and get some kind of rent, instead of nothing for the past two years?"


my flickr, 2008

15 comments:

c.o. moed said...

heartbreaking. I had such special evenings at Carmines....

Grade "A" Karen said...

Oy.

Do we know what happened to the bar and the stuff on the walls?

Anonymous said...

I'm not in real estate but I have heard that commercial landlords get some kind of tax break for an empty space at the rate they claim it should be renting at. The fact that no has or is paying $13,000 a month is irrelevant, they still have a financial motivation to keep the space empty. Fucked up shit. Welcome to New York.

Marty Wombacher said...

"Wouldn't it have been better to keep Carmine's in business and get some kind of rent, instead of nothing for the past two years?"

I've thought the same thing about the Stoned Crow's empty space that's been vacant for two years. Why force out a tenant willing to pay rent only to have it sit vacant? I can't believe a tax break is better than a paying renter.

Bowery Boogie said...

same trend across the neighborhood - hurry up and wait.

chris flash said...

I passed there just yesterday and saw their banner still hanging on the wall proudly proclaiming their 100th anniversary (1903-2003).

Tax break or not, HOW could it be more desirable to have an empty space for years? No one is going to step up to take that space any time soon and it's highly unlikely they'd take root and prosper, as Carmine's did.

That area is NOT as "hot" as deluded real estate vipers seem to think it is.

Another nail in the heart of our dying New York City....

Goggla said...

This makes me so sad. I can't believe it's been two years already. This was my Sunday afternoon hangout and I am most upset that I was never able to say goodbye to the bartender and staff. I always had a good time in there - met many friendly and interesting people, and the garlic bread (a whole loaf!) with mozzarella and marinara for $4 was the best deal in town.

Ed said...

I'd like to see someone dig into the "leave the space empty" phenomenon and come out with hard information (it probably is the tax code) about why landlords increasingly like to leave spaces empty. Whatever it is obviously should be fixed before it winds up destroying most commercial activity in the city.

Jeremiah Moss said...

it's a good question--all those empty spaces. talk about "blight." why doesn't the city use eminent domain on these empty sites, instead of stealing thriving businesses as they do? i don't support eminent domain when used this way, but it is curious as to what gets labeled as "blight" and what does not.

Anonymous said...

Just a wild guess.

No one necessarily wants the bad publicity from taking over a space from a local favorite (see the brouhaha over Rocco's or The Bean), so an empty space is more rent-able.

And, if you think you can get triple the rent, it's worth letting it lie fallow for a few years to catch that whale. It only takes 1 year of triple rent to make up for 2 years lying empty.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to use eminent domain on his eminence Bloomberg and his ego. His mayorship is a blight to NYC.

King Ning said...

I don't pretend to know what the financial situation of Camine's owner(s) was; but, at some point in the past, they should've thought about buying the damned building. This lack of foresight killed off too many famous establishments and will continue to do so in the future.

Anonymous said...

I just had the same happen to me in a space I had a bar for 10 years! Landlords sometimes get bad advise from brokers thinking they can get big money ! If it's a big landlord no problem but I had a small one only the building we were in
It's been two years he calls all the time begging us to come back!

Crazy Eddie said...

You would think that the commercial real estate industry would operate like the airline and the hotel industries but as per its own greed rational, it apparently does not. Found this link, this could be at least better than an empty storefront.

“No Vacancy: Turning Empty Spaces Into Cultural Pop-Ups”.

http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/culture/no-vacancy-turning-empty-spaces-into-cultural-pop-ups/

Anonymous said...

It was properly more expensive to operate that the $13,000/month rent would cover. Sure you still have to come out of pocket for an empty space, but its likely a lot less than keeping the place running for $13k.