Last spring, Curbed reported that the Tammany Hall building on Union Square East will be topped by a large glass dome as part of a major renovation.
As you can see from the before-and-after renderings, all the small businesses currently on the first floor have been removed from the future vision.
That removal is happening.
I went by the find the owners of the magazine and smoke shop closing their gates for good.
Frank's Wines & Liquors is draped with a large CLOSING SALE! sign. Inside, I was told that "the landlord is redoing everything." They've been there at least 40 years and don't expect to be reopening.
The Trevi Deli on the corner is already gone.
Around the corner on 17th Street, the building housed two cultural institutions, the New York Film Academy and the Union Square Theater.
The Film Academy has now moved down to Bowling Green. They'd been in the Tammany building since 1994.
The Union Square Theater has also closed. Its long-running show, 39 Steps, had its last performance earlier this month.
I poked around inside to find the place a wreck. According to DNA, the theater will be gutted and "replaced with retail and offices."
It's been hosting shows since at least 1985.
What sort of businesses do you think will replace these small businesses and cultural institutions? Well, almost every single thing around Union Square Park is a national shopping mall chain. (Here's a list.) Those that aren't, like Blue Water Grill, tend to be upscale.
The Tammany Hall building was a final remnant of the old Union Square, holding the last collection of low-rent independent businesses and cultural centers on the park.