As Sunnyside retailers get priced out, pawn shops move in on main shopping drag

February 04, 2011 10:13AM

A flurry of retail closings along the prime shopping corridor in Sunnyside, Queens has residents of one of the borough’s most desired neighborhoods worried that the area will soon lose its cachet. According to the Wall Street Journal, among the recent departures from Queens Boulevard, between 40th and 46th streets, are the Starberry yogurt and ice cream shop, the Diving Bell bar, Jennifer Accessories and Rose Restaurant. Many of the businesses that remain are barely holding on, said Bill Psitos, the longtime owner of Sunnyside Florist, and meanwhile, a pair of pawn shops have moved into vacant spaces on the strip — a departure from the image that residents had hoped Sunnyside would project. “The rents are very high in the area and they keep going up,” said Regina Tunney, who owns Pure Spa & Salon on Queens Boulevard. “And with all these closures, we’re finding it harder and harder as the foot traffic goes down.” [WSJ]