We've been following the death of one block, 9th Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets, since 2008. One building, filled with several mom-and-pop shops was sold and sold again. Then all the businesses were evicted, their spaces gutted and upscaled.
The empty retail space has been on the market for several months, and now a local tipster reports they've got their first shiny new tenant.
It's a bank. Another bank.
Multinational Wells Fargo is one of the "Big Four" banks in America, with about 25 locations in the city, all in Manhattan.
The two spaces that this branch is taking over once belonged to Tamara Dry Cleaners and the New Barber Shop. Those businesses were an integral part of the community. They didn't only provide important services, they held people together and gave them a place to go, to connect. A bank branch can't do that. Neighborhood people fought for those businesses. They loved them and the people who ran them. A bank branch won't be loved--and it won't give love.
We are losing too much--and for nothing. The sterilization of the city continues.
Follow the whole story:
Death of a Block: One
Saving 9th Avenue
Sweet Banana Candy Store
New Barber Shop