NYC storefronts begin boarding up as virus empties streets

Biz advocates urge stores to keep up appearances

New York /
Mar.March 24, 2020 04:15 PM
Workers board up the Time Square Sephora location (Credit: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

Workers board up the Time Square Sephora location (Credit: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

New York’s once-bustling shopping districts are starting to look like they’re bracing for a hurricane. Retailers are boarding up storefronts now that the virus pandemic has emptied the city’s streets.

Large sheets of plywood barricade the entrances to Sephora locations throughout the city. In Soho, the windows to the Louis Vuitton store on Greene Street have been covered by boards painted with the luxury brand’s signature yellow.

Storefronts started going dark early last week after Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the city’s bars and restaurants closed, with the exception of offering takeout services. Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the following days began curtailing the number of employees who could go to work, culminating in the virtual shutdown of the city over the weekend.

And while some essential shops like grocery stores and laundromats remain open, others are now battening down the hatches.

Mark Dicus, executive director of the Soho Broadway Initiative business improvement district, reached out to landlords and retailers last week urging them to consider alternatives to boarding up windows.

Owners worried about securing their businesses, he said, should first consider options like hiring security firms or keeping interior lights on.

“We’re encouraging property owners and retailers to keep those storefronts untouched and to keep the lights on at night,” Dicus told The Real Deal. “We want to maintain a sense of normalcy and make sure our neighborhoods are safe. We feel there are ways to take care of that without resorting to drastic measures like boarding up storefronts.”

A representative for Sephora wrote via email that the company has closed all of its stores across the United States and Canada through April 3.

“In accordance with our protocols for temporary store closures, we have standardized precautions to protect our properties across North America,” the spokesperson wrote.

In the Meatpacking District, Sephora’s landlord, Aurora Capital Associates, worked with the neighoborhood’s business improvement district to hire an artist to paint over the boards after they went up.

Aurora principal Jared Epstein wrote on social media that his company won’t allow the coronavirus and the citywide shutdown to “create further gloom and doom at our properties.”

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The measure bars landlords from evicting tenants who suffered a financial hardship brought on by the pandemic. (Getty)
LA extends eviction moratorium
LA extends eviction moratorium
(iStock illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Morgan Stanley bans unvaccinated staffers from offices
Morgan Stanley bans unvaccinated staffers from offices
Sure We Can has tried to purchase the property in the past (Facebook via Sure We Can, Getty)
Lifeline for canners needs city’s help to buy redemption center site
Lifeline for canners needs city’s help to buy redemption center site
Photo Illustration of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and Vrbo CEO Jeff Hurst (Getty)
Home invasion: Vrbo aims to poach listings from Airbnb as summer heats up
Home invasion: Vrbo aims to poach listings from Airbnb as summer heats up
Confidence is lowest in the Northeast and Midwest, at 73 and 70. (iStock)
Homebuilder sentiment slides to 10-month low in June
Homebuilder sentiment slides to 10-month low in June
Anita Durst and images of Chashama (Photos via Getty, Chashama)
Durst-backed nonprofit puts startups into empty storefronts
Durst-backed nonprofit puts startups into empty storefronts
Washington Prime Group CEO Lou Conforti (Twitter)
Washington Prime Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Washington Prime Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Getty)
Pandemic squeeze forces Abu Dhabi fund to reassess real estate exposure
Pandemic squeeze forces Abu Dhabi fund to reassess real estate exposure
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...