Richard writes in:
"I just came from the bodega at 7th Avenue and 17th Street, which is almost empty. The nephew of the owner was behind the counter. He explained that the building was recently purchased and they were being evicted, along with Merchants bar/restaurant and Muscle Maker Grill, so that a large apartment building can be erected in their stead."
"I asked where the owner was.
'He died. Heart attack. Two weeks ago. He was 56.'
The owner's son was outside, sitting on top of the empty fruit-and-flower stand, staring into space. I had talked with him over the last few months about his plans for the store. He recently installed a new sign --- Pop's Place, it reads; his dad had been there for 30 years --- and wanted to install a juice bar, and do other things. Sweet kid. All for naught.
I offered condolences. He doesn't know what he's going to do now.
Friday is their last day, in case you'd like to stop by."
That day is today.
via Real Deal
Last year, the Real Deal reported that the two buildings at 116 Seventh Avenue and 204 West 17th Street were purchased for $11 million by Gary Barnett’s Extell Development.
This month, the Real Deal also reports, Extell sold a controlling interest in the properties to A&H Acquisitions’ Alex Adjmi for $29 million.
And so the story is the same, again and again. Another massive profit for a massive developer. Utter heartbreak and loss of livelihood for a small businessman who hoped to carry on his father's legacy. What will the people of Chelsea get in return? We can guess--another soulless, chainstore-filled glass box to suck the life right out of us.