More than 12 businesses along Eighth Avenue between West 14th and West 23rd streets shuttered last year and early this year as retailers struggle to pay rising rents.
The result is many empty storefronts lining the Chelsea stretch. The bar Rawhide at 212 Eighth Avenue; clothing shop Camouflage at 139 Eighth Avenue; and Pinkberry at 170 Eighth Avenue are gone. Rawhide’s rent jumped to $27,000 per month from $15,000 per month, leading the owners in March 2013 to leave the space, which has not yet been filled.
Pizza chain Project Pie was in talks to replace Rawhide, but plans were dropped.
“The neighborhood is indoctrinated with tourists, people visiting the High Line and Google,” Camouflage owner Norm Usiak told DNAinfo. “They don’t come to small stores, they want to go to chains, places they know.” [DNAinfo] — Mark Maurer