Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jack Bistro to TD Bank

Last year, when I reported that Jack Bistro would be closing on University Place, a regular from the neighborhood told me, "The landlord is renting the space to a bank for $50,000 a month. Jack offered $30,000, but the landlord wanted more."


2013

Well, it's a year later and here it is, as promised, yet another brand-new TD Bank. The Village needs this like it needs a hole in the head.


today, via Coney Island doc

Please write the mayor and the City Council and tell them to pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, so our small business owners have a chance to negotiate fair lease renewals. It's time to put a stop to the chaining of New York City.

16 comments:

Don said...

Last weekend they were out on the sidewalk with balloons and lollipops begging people to come in. You'll be happy to know I gave them a VERY dirty look.

Anonymous said...

It sucks, but as far as I'm concerned the chaining of New York is at the point of no return. This is the new way. The way it is now and the way it will be in the future. I've told myself to either tolerate it or leave...and after 30 years here I WOULD like to leave.

Scout said...

If only the problem could be solved as simply as passing such a bill - unfortunately, NYC is a Byzantine mess. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our bureaucracy is bloated, our politicians keep voting enormous salary increases for themselves. The only way to keep things running as is (no actual improvements) is to keep raising taxes. And small businesses just can't afford the taxers the city needs. It would be great if a political reformer could come along and somehow shake it all up, but that seems unlikely, to use an understatement.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason to flee to Columbus

Anonymous said...

Ironically, Governing magazine has an article "If Cities Want to Succeed, They Need to Focus on What Makes Them Distinct" discusisng that "Many municipalities struggle to identify their uniqueness and instead try to market themselves for having things that you can find anywhere..."

The Bloomberg era entitlements to corporations and real estate and policies to attract oligarchs, tourists and post-college frat folks has competely transformed Manhattan into an outdoor mall. Unbelievable and horrible.

Giovanni said...

Turning New York City into just another version of Generica is going to backfire on us all. I recently talked to a tour guide who said her biggest complaint from tourists now is that New York is starting to look and feel just like any other city. They come here expecting it to be more unique and edgy, but all they are seeing is the same chain stores they see everywhere else.

Once the tourists go elsewhere there will be no need for all these bank branches, froyo shops, overpriced restaurants and cute little boutiques. But by then NYU will have taken over the rest of Manhattan and absorbed us into their global real estate portfolio, so it probably won't even matter.

That giant meteor heading our way can't arrive fast enough...

Richard Federico said...

With technology and online banking, why do we need so many branch offices? You would think the brick and mortar footprint for banks would be shrinking, but just the contrary. Now these TD's pop up everywhere like Dunkin Donuts! How do they justify paying $50,000 a month on top of staffing payroll and all that comes along with a building? When there are so many in one small area, aren't they just cannibalizing one another?

I'm starting to think that they are not making enough money to justify opening every other block. What I am thinking is that they are using these buildings as very expensive billboards that advertise TD or any big chains name. Put enough of these shell businesses in prime locations and it is like having a 3-dimensional advertisement where people work and can interact with clients if need be. It's expensive and the particular branch may even lose money, but it's an expense they are willing to shell out in order to show the strength of their brand world wide. Sort of a Big Business status symbol.

It's just the only thing I can think of to explain the rise in bank real estate. Either that or when we bailed out the banks, they wound up with a surplus and now they just have crazy money to burn!

Anonymous said...

I say let NYC have the bank branches and chains. These midwesterners and suburbanites want to move to NYC, go ahead. But when they get here, they hate everything what the city is all about and they turn it into whatever they're from but are paying more. Let them have their overpriced suburbia.

Anonymous said...

Giovanni--- Well said on on all points!

Ed said...

This stuff has been happening throughout the US, and to some extent throughout the world, so there is no escaping it.

But it seems particularly "in your face" in New York, or at least Manhattan, and if you are going to have to live surrounded by this crap you might as well do it in a less crowded and less expensive environment.

Anonymous said...

Great post by Richard Frederico. Nationwide banks are closing branches and downsizing 10+% (due to ever improving technology), TD's NYC strategy makes no long term sense unless it is a leasehold play (which may backfire big time) or just advertising.

laura r. said...

jeremiah, its unconsitutional to force a landlord to renew a lease after it has expired. that's taking away indivual freedoms. if i owned a commerical building, it is my right to use it as i wish. this tenent may have not had a long contract, they knew this when they moved the business in. "option to renew" is sometimes in the contract @ the "discretion of landlord" & the % of rent increase (or no increase) is included in that agreement. as much as your mayor is a communist, i dont think he will do the kind of regulation you suggested. he's too busy taking orders from the feds, the corporatists, & the rest of the global corruption. ed, it is not pacticularly "in your face" in NYC. the most revolting side of this i have seen is in mexico/cent america. fast food & banks are what they live for. even IF you have a lease in mexico you may get the gun to the head, & i mean that literally. even if you own the building, you still get the gun. same banks sames chains same old sxxt.

Anonymous said...

New York City will be a case study some day soon about what to do if you want to destroy a vibrant city. From the outside tourists will think NYC is amazing but any desire to live here will quickly fade when you realize there is very little to do. Evenings will be filled with overpriced alcohol or nights at home watching NetFlix (hardly something worth a $3000 rent). A significant portion of the new luxury highrises will sit dark because so many are purchased as resale investment opportunities. Vibrant neighborhoods will be sterile, empty zones that no one will find enjoyable. I have lived here 24 years and I am done. I moved to Brooklyn 4 years ago and loved it but now it is changing significantly. I see no reason to move even further out from a city I once loved. I might as well pack my things, find a new city and live a reasonable affordable life. NYC is NOT worth the price tag anymore.

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to disagree with a lot of the comments. I would only add that all of this is compounded by a weary and complacent citizenry.

laura r. said...

beautiful colonial cities have been destroyed thru mexico. they are replaced by highways malls parking lots, housing developements, ugly square cement buildings, factories, huge athletic centers. they tore down mansions museums churches parks. entire neighborhoods @ onetime. im not talking about run down, i mean upscale & beautiful. (trees & gardens get burnt down). the process took about 40 years. whats ever left are the few buildings which are surrounded by trash chain stores dirty streets pizza huts, kentucy fried, subway. (it hasnt been a cultural center for all that time). it was like destroying the 5 boros. be glad that isnt happening on the UES, gramacy park, greenwich village. lima peru & guadalajara there are billboards about 4 stories high & one city block long. they are high up so you dont miss them. not attractive, just advertising cell phones. "in your face" hasnt quite happend to new york- yet. i would like to see a law passed in NY for chainstore zoning restriction, certain areas.

Anonymous said...

What was Jack's rent before? Lemongrass Grill was there before Jack. I dimly recall when Jack opened. But it was undistinguished in every respect, with dull, bland food and no character. So it's not like Jack was a great addition to the neighborhood. Not like Marquet, which just closed this summer, and the hardware store we lost a few years ago. Certainly the TD Bank is terrible, and unneeded, as there's a CitiBank on 14th and Bank of America and Chase on University, plus another Chase and another Bank of America and another CitiBank and HSBC on Broadway. But lamenting Jack is sort of like lamenting a pothole, albeit a familiar one.