Friday, July 15, 2016

7th and 17th

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.


Sam said...

This, along with the Landmarks Preservation Commission overriding the concerns of CB5 for the demolition of two buildings on 17th and 18th streets in the Ladies Mile Historic District (to be replaced by two condo buildings for the super wealthy) is indicative where this wonderful neighborhood is heading, and the fact that our elected officials continue to fail to represent their constituents every single day.

Beyond the sadness of families losing their businesses for developers to provide rarely used holiday apartments for wealthy foreigners, the fact that these real estate developers run this city is the major issue on which we should be focusing.

Next election, I simply won't be voting for any candidate that does not have a plan to stop this madness. Everyone, go to your community board meetings and howl with protest, before it's too late.

The Muttropolitan Diarist said...

Good lord. This is right in my neighborhood. I saw the new sign and was pleased: business on the uptick! But alas, no. Very sad. Thank you for the report.

Just Another Nobody said...

I've been going to this deli for 25 years now. I knew all the brothers that co-owned it and watched the young guys grow up to the men they are today. This is very sad. Disappointing. Unfortunately this is NYC. When the eventual collapse comes - I hope it hits the people who deserve it the most. These greedy developers.

Anonymous said...

This is a shame. Any idea when Merchants NYC will be closing?