NYC storefronts begin boarding up as virus empties streets

Biz advocates urge stores to keep up appearances

TRD 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
Melanie La Rocca, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings

City may allow other types of construction

Greenwich Hotel, Four Seasons at 30 Park Place and POD Hotel Brooklyn (Credit: Greenwich Hotel, Thirty Park Place, Google Maps)

Four Seasons, 204 layoffs, as businesses hemorrhage jobs

Meridian Capital CEO Ralph Herzka (Credit: Studio Scrivo, iStock)

Meridian Capital hit with round of layoffs

(Credit: iStock)

“Kicking the can down the road”: Real estate industry says $2T relief plan doesn’t do enough

(Credit: iStock)

EB-5 is back in the doghouse

Gary Barnett, Central Park Tower, and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Bull (Credit: Wikipedia, iStock)

Extell’s Israeli bonds put on downgrade watch

From left: Ace Watanasuparp, Mark Favaloro and Alan Rosenbaum

Watch tonight: (Work from) home lending on TRD Talks Live

San Francisco’s Oceanwide Center has a new buyer

San Francisco’s Oceanwide Center has a new buyer

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...