Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Astoria Rexall

Norwood Rexall Drugs in Astoria has been in its spot for 60 years, but it was recently forced to move by a rent hike, according to a note in the window.

Reader Scott Levine sends in a photo of the letter to customers from owner Syed Naqvi, who's been running the shop since 1977. He explains that the building was purchased by TK Management. And then, "All of a sudden, the new owner wants to double the rent, plus add the real estate taxes, without giving us reasonable notice."

photo by Scott Levine

The storefront is an antique, with curved, deeply set window displays and a vintage Rexall sign on the glass.

2014 -- photo by Nancy A. Ruhling

Mr. Naqvi was featured in a HuffPo piece last year. He told Nancy Ruhling about his move from Pakistan, and how he worked hard to take over the drugstore and keep it going over the years.

"The price wasn't high because the owner was retiring," he said of the time, "and the shelves were bare because he had not kept up with the inventory in anticipation of leaving. I paid him $20,000 plus some notes, and it was mine. I had to borrow $5,000 from a friend."

today -- photo by Scott Levine


onemorefoldedsunset said...

Thank you Scott, & Jeremiah, for letting us know. I walked along here last week, and wondered what had happened - so unfair. Astoria still has a lot of fine, independent businesses, and it's sad to see any of them go. Just along from Rexall, Brown's Army Navy - Money Refunded, & the wonderful K & T Meats, also on Broadway. There are many more.

James said...

So many places I don't go, would probably never go, but wish would stay there forever.
We find comfort in old things - long leases and the calm of sameness. It's an expensive comfort, unfortunately. At least we're making note of these places - something the banks and corporate goliaths could well do without. Memory should only go back to the last commercial you heard, according to the current "model".
Even dear I. Koch was anti mom & pops. Gotta make room for the real stuff, mom & pops. NYC spent so many years in the dark time, where everything was old, just as it had during the Depression. After the depression we tried to tear down everything old. We just wanted to move on - now somewhat to our regret.