West Eighth Street, long lagging behind the posh redevelopment of the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood, is finally getting a boost thanks to chic eateries and a newly-revamped hotel.
The new Marlton Hotel, which opened last month at 5 West Eighth Street, is largely credited with fueling the micronabe’s new hope. Co-owned by Sean MacPherson of the Bowery Hotel, the once crash pad for Beat Generation writers underwent a $15 million gut renovation and now charges upwards of $225 a night.
“I couldn’t dream of a better place to put a hotel,” Richard Born, a BD principal, told the New York Times. “You are surrounded by one of the most dynamic neighborhoods around, artistically and culturally, and here you have a street with discount shoe stores.”
More than a dozen restaurants have also opened along the block in the past two years, among roughly 70 storefronts. Many are snazzier versions of their predecessors, such as $45 rib-eye steak spot Greenwich Project at No. 47, opening up in spaces where earlier attempts at reviving the block stumbled.
Stumptown Coffee at No. 30, one of the brewer’s two NYC outposts, is also credited with being a lynchpin of the revival.
Retail rents in the area now hover at about $125 per square foot, William Abramson, director of sales and leasing for Buchbinder & Warren Realty Group, told the Times. That price tag is a bargain compared with nearby University Place, where rents are around $250 per square foot, or Broadway near Houston Street where they average $350 per square foot.
And while noticable darkened windows still cloud the street’s southern side, the vacancy rate is now around 8 percent, down from a recession high of 12 percent. [NYT] — Julie Strickland