OTB parlors having hard time finding tenants

August 29, 2011 01:20PM

Many of the spaces that used to be the locations of 50 Off Track
Betting Corporation parlors throughout the city have not found new
tenants since the OTB declared bankruptcy and closed down in December, the
New York Times reported. Many residents are happy that the clientele
associated with the parlors in Forest Hills, Queens, Sunset Heights,
Brooklyn and the Upper West Side and other places has left. But
landlords have found marketing the spaces is challenging. The majority of
the outlets now have for-rent signs on them. One space on Second
Avenue between 52nd and 53rd streets goes beyond that — it is wrapped
entirely in vinyl depicting an imaginary cafe and boutique.

“I
don’t mind telling people that it’s a former OTB,” Jeffrey Roseman, an executive vice president at Newmark Knight Frank Retail, told the Times. “But I don’t want them to see it was an OTB when
they’re standing in front of it, because it was so God-ugly.” A
spokesperson for the Landmarks Preservation Commission suggested it was
unlikely that the spaces could get landmark protection, even though
they have some historical significance. “Isn’t it possible for a
memory of a place to live on without a physical remnant? I’m sure there are a
lot of people who’d rather forget a place where they may have lost
every dime they made,” said Elisabeth de Bourbon, Landmarks Preservation Commission communications director.  [NYT]