Bleecker Street’s vacancy epidemic traces back to a “Sex and the City” episode

Magnolia Bakery craze drove pushed rents beyond sustainable levels

TRD New York /
Jun.June 01, 2017 12:45 PM

Bleecker Street’s retail crisis goes back to a 2000 episode of the hit series “Sex and the City.”

The street’s western stretch in the West Village has seen some rough times lately, with plenty of boarded storefronts, and the New York Times investigates how it came to that in a new report.

When “Sex and the City” showed its protagonists eating at the local cupcake shop Magnolia Bakery, it catapulted the street into a major tourist thoroughfare. Along with the crowds came luxury retailers like Marc Jacobs, driving up rents and displacing long-time tenants. Bleecker Street “had a real European panache. People associated it with something special, something different,” Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope Consolo told the Times.

But eventually rents rose to such heights that even global luxury brands could no longer afford them. Store closures followed. As some landlords still hold out for high rents, pop-up stores and short-term tenants have been filling some of the vacancies. Foreign brands looking to establish a name stateside — like Irish designer Orla Kiely and Japanese clothing chain Enfold — have recently signed leases on Bleecker.

Some observers believe the vacancies will fill up again. “Bleecker is quintessential West Village,” Elad Yifrach, founder of decor company L’Objet, told the Times. “The most beautiful townhouses are around there. The street needs to go back to bringing a cool factor, things that will inspire the audience.” [NYT]Konrad Putzier 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Clockwise from top left: 312 West 34th Street, 61 North 9th Street, 639 Classon Avenue, and One Fulton Square (Credit: Google Maps)

These were the top 10 NYC retail leases in July

These were the top 10 NYC retail leases in July
Ricky's at 830 Broadway (Credit: NYC Go)

Ricky’s, iconic NYC beauty shop, faces
more closures

Ricky’s, iconic NYC beauty shop, faces
more closures
From top, clockwise: Cushman & Wakefield's Joanne Podell, Showfields' Amir Zwickel, Appear Here's Josh Yentob, Brookfield Properties's Mark Kostic (Credit: Getty, LinkedIn)

When it comes to retail, “real estate in New York is fundamentally broken”

When it comes to retail, “real estate in New York is fundamentally broken”
Charles Rettig, Commissioner of the IRS (Getty)

Opportunity Zone rule change seeks to entice foreign investors

Opportunity Zone rule change seeks to entice foreign investors
The proposal to rezone Industry City in Brooklyn was unveiled five years ago, but collapsed under political pressure (Courtesy of Industry City)

Here’s how Industry City’s controversial rezoning unraveled

Here’s how Industry City’s controversial rezoning unraveled
731 Lexington Avenue and 410 East 61st Street (inset) with Vornado's Steve Roth (Googel Maps; VNO)

Home Depot eyes former Bed Bath & Beyond space on First Ave

Home Depot eyes former Bed Bath & Beyond space on First Ave
Ian Schrager and the Pulic Hotel at 215 Chrystie Street (Getty; Google)

$60M mezz loan on Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel is for sale

$60M mezz loan on Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel is for sale
J.C. Penney at the Westfield South Shore mall in Long Island and  J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau (Google Maps; Getty)

J.C. Penney to keep Bay Shore outpost open for now

J.C. Penney to keep Bay Shore outpost open for now
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...