Friday, August 22, 2008

First Avenue Fiasco

In the city today, entire blocks can be erased with the swipe of just one man's hand. You already know about 9th Ave between 17th and 18th. Now a VNY reader sends in this scary info, following up on last month's news of David's Bagels closing, about 1st Ave between 13th and 14th:

"Turns out, the landlord wants to close/sell an entire string of stores along 1st Ave: Kathy's Jewelers, David's, and Wines on 1st, possibly continuing down the rest of the block (sushi place and small deli; not sure about GNC). A friend connected to one of these stores tells me the landlord wants to at least use the three stores named to open a bar (cuz lord knows what we need in the East Village is another effing bar). I blame the A Building for all of this."

The buildings that house these businesses were once furniture warehouses, turned into condos back in the 1980s, with two-bedrooms then priced at $184,000.

Already, the Lucky Huang gift shop next to Wine on 1st and the "Nail Nail Nail" nail salon next to that have long been shuttered. August 29 is the last day for David's Bagels:

If the news is true, then pretty much this entire block is about to go up in smoke. My fingers are crossed that the neighboring H&W Hardware, founded in 1924, isn't marked for destruction too. *Update: I can quit crossing my fingers, according to a commenter here, the landlord is hiking the rent on H&W's lease. Now that leaves just the two anchor stores on the block, both chains: GNC and Hot N Crusty.


Anonymous said...

H&W Hardware, founded in 1924, IS marked for destruction too. Went there this afternoon to have my keys duplicated and the owner came out of nowhere to talk to me on how the landlord is raising his rent at the end of his lease. He told me that he's amazed on how the neighborhood has changed drastically: (I'm paraphrasing here) "It seems like out of nowhere the condos and the yuppies started popping up and the artists and musicians that made this neighborhood vibrant disappeared overnight."

Jeremiah Moss said...

sweet mother of mercy! i just had keys made there, too. i thought maybe they owned the bldg.

Anonymous said...

I'll keep my eyes and ears opened, Jeremiah. Great post.

The H&W situation is heartbreaking.

I can't believe a neighborhood I once loved so much has been ruined so quickly, like a long peaceful sleep that turns fitful and nightmarish, except when you wake up ... the nightmares are true.

Anonymous said...

Manhattan is going into the lame category faster than the virus is running through my intestine.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeremiah, a little update: once the landlord decides/signs the new tenant for David's, the fate of Kathy's Jewelry and Wines on 1st will be made known.

Wines may be able to move to the former Lucky gift shop or Nail Nail space. Of course: yunnies love their booze! But seriously, the Wines 1st guys are great and I am happy that at least one local merchant will be spared.

I'll keep ya posted if I hear anything! Lil

Anonymous said...

I lived on this block for three years (1999-2001) in building 222. It was my first apartment on my own and it always amazed me how friendly all the store owners were, which really made a difference for me. I would go into David's every day for coffee and a bagel, and they knew my order before I could even ask. The guys in the wine store would wave when I walked by, and the people in the hardware store sure helped me out of a few messes. People don't believe that New York can be like that, but this block really was.