When we see places vanish, we wonder what will take their place. Checking back in with the new tenant is usually disappointing and depressing. Still, it must be done.
In 2006, Harry Chong was forced to close his laundry after 60 years on the corner of Waverly Place and Charles. The landlord spiked the rent. A hair salon moved in, keeping part of the HARRY CHONG window signage, then it moved out. In October 2011 a For Rent sign went in the window. Last month, after the space was rented, workers scraped HARRY CHONG from the windows.
Today, there's a new upscale boutique in the spot. Henry Beguelin has moved here from the Meatpacking District, bringing MePa values with it.
That yellow handbag on the table sells for $2,195. Flip-flops go for $550.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that many of the "pioneering" boutiques that created MePa are being pushed out of the high-end shopping mall they created by skyrocketing rents that are attracting high-end shopping mall chain stores, like Sephora and Intermix.
With its influential boutiques on the move, thanks in part to the High Line raising property values, "MePa Creep" has begun.
If these stores have the power to make MePa wherever they go, what will happen to our quiet little blocks--and their existing businesses--when the exiled Meatpacking boutiques start showing up?