Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colony Gutted

Last summer I shared the news that Colony Music was forced out of business after 60 years in Times Square. The new owner of the Brill Building, Stonehenge Properties, had quintupled the rent--to $5 million, according to the Post.

I went by Colony recently and found it papered in the landlord's advertising, "Retail space for lease," and "Prominent billboard signage opportunity." In their rendering, the landlord has the historic Brill Building choked by garish jumbo-trons.

Colony's door was open, still with its treble clef doorknobs. I looked inside. Nothing but the guts.

Click to enlarge

Someday soon, this will be the home of an obnoxious shopping-mall flagship store, a poundingly loud Abercrombie & Hollister Eagle-Postale. Or a corporate theme "experience": Pop Tart World! Mountain Dew Planet! Red Bull Adventure! Or maybe it'll be a steroid-pumped suburban chain restaurant. Denny's has yet to penetrate Manhattan, so maybe we'll get New York City's first ever Denny's! And not just any Denny's, but a super-jumbo Denny's, complete with a New York theme to give it that All-American local flavor.

Even better, how about the world's biggest frozen-yogurt shop--with a Colony Records theme? They'll alter the neon sign, keeping the O's and the NY as homage, and use it to spell out FrO-yO-NY for Fro-Yo New York. Hey, they're doing it to Bleecker Bob's.

Announcement of Colony's closure
Quintupling the rent


kenny g said...

Colony had a great selection of sheet music but they were always priced higher than Mftr sugg retail. Often after finding something at Colony, I would buy it from Sam Asholes cheaper. The music memorabilia was a great attraction but the auto-graphed celebrity guitars were a joke. Keith Richard never played a squier strat and his autogarph doecn't make a $200 shit guitar worth $2000!

Anonymous said...

Colony did have an AMAZING selection of sheet music. In fact, they had filing cabinets with OOP music that was decades old.

But oddly, they did charge higher than retail for sheet music. Which, in the world of sheet music, is bizarre. To charge MSRP is normal. To MARK UP MSRP for new music was unheard of.

In today's Times Square, a place like this can't survive. Between the rents and the change in neighborhood clientele, they didn't stand a chance. Even Sam Ash moved to 34th Street to complete directly with B&H.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Cronut Factory.

Dave -everywhere said...

I walk by here every morning on the way to work. Maybe soemthing really unique will move in here - like a chocolate candy superstore to compete with the Hershey store (one block south) and the M&M store (across Broadway). No such thing as too much chocolate!

Anonymous said...

If it's any comfort, climate change will likely render Manhattan uninhabitable within 100 years. Vanishing NY indeed

laura said...

where did you read this climate change info? maybe jeremiah can do a post on it. will NYC be all ocean? as for colony, i see a H&M. never can have too many H&M's right? as for yogart, you need a frozen one after shopping. its protocol.

John K said...

Goggla beat me to it, but my first thought after seeing those images of Colony's forlorn interior were:


Though Stonehenge might tear the whole building down and build the largest luxury tower in the world, the Cosmos, with residents of the top floors able to scrape off bits of the moon.

I can see it!

DrBOP said...

Man. NYC has really changed, in that nobody's ripped those door handles off yet.......C'MON PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

I loved browsing through Colony, but that's all I would do there. I didn't have a need for sheet music and was only interested in their collectibles and the crazy selection of vinyl they had in the basement. Problem was their stuff was so crazy, insanely over-priced that as much as I wanted to support the store I could rarely justify making a purchase. Doesn't take anything away from the fact that I would rather see them there now instead of the next ass-fuck mega super candy store or bullshit mainstream retail outlet. Whatever. This town has so turned it's back on it's former identity and it's truly over. I would say that NYC is a shell of it's former self, but it's not even that. It's something else that I never imagined it would actually become. I'm getting out of here soon anyway. It's pointless.

Richie said...

I think it'll be a Cheesecake Factory.

Kyle Campion said...

The most pathetic part of all of this is the language these real estate drones use - "repositioning" and things of that nature.

It's really pathetic.

Andrew L said...

Colony typically charged a flat $2 over MSRP for sheet music. I didn't like it, but chalked it up to them trying to cover what must have been a high rent, given their location. I still thought it better to pay a small premium to be able to browse and take home a purchase immediately than to pay shipping for an Internet purchase and have to wait for it to arrive. And, frankly, given that Colony is gone forever and (AFAIK) there is no comprehensive sheet music store in Manhattan, I don't begrudge them what they charged.