MYSTERIOUS ITALIAN RESTAURANT, NEW JEWELRY COMING TO COLUMBUS AVENUE

Columbus Avenue commercial real estate is hot — so hot in fact that there isn’t a single vacant space on the entire stretch from 67th to 82nd Street, according to the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District.

We have already reported on many of the restaurants and retail spaces that are coming to the avenue, but in a press release the BID put out yesterday, a few new spots were named:

A new unnamed Italian restaurant (we initially wrote incorrectly that it was going to be a Mexican restaurant) is coming to the space that formerly housed Calle Ocho on 81st Street. According to the New York Post, it will be run by “two ‘aristocratic Mexicans’ who own restaurants in Mexico City.”

The space that formerly housed Michele Golan, the jewelry store on 75th Street that we reported was closed on our map of 32 recent openings and closings, will get another jewelry store.

And Emmelle, the women’s clothing store on 75th, has been replaced by Oska, another women’s clothing store.

Barbara Adler, executive director of the BID, argues that the avenue’s retail diversity means it should be excluded from the Upper West Side commercial rezoning, which will limit the size of storefronts. The full press release is reprinted below:

The retail space along the mixed-use corridor that makes up the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID, spanning West 67th – to West 82nd Streets, is officially 100 percent leased, announces Barbara Adler, executive director of the BID.

With the leasing of 446 Columbus Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets, to a soon-to-be-named Italian restaurant, the former site of Calle Ocho restaurant, with its large interior space, was the last availability on the strip. Among the other spaces that have been leased are 240 Columbus Avenue (71st Street), formerly Victor’s and Penang restaurants, currently under construction as Café Tallulah; and a three-story shop also featuring a large interior space at 309 Columbus Avenue, which has been leased to The Paper Source, following the closing of Therapie. Other former vacancies along the avenue, comprise 451 Columbus Avenue, now Rubicon Property; 392 Columbus Avenue, formerly Ducale and now Coffee  Bean & Tea Leaf; 380 Columbus Avenue, formerly P&G Bar and now 78 Below; 313 Columbus Avenue, the former Michale Golan which will again be a jewelry store; 311 Columbus Avenue where Oska has replaced Emmelle; 261 Columbus Avenue (aka 53 West 72nd Street), which is slated for the Dakota Bar, to  be run by veteran Columbus Avenue Wine & Roses partner Jennifer Klein; and last, but not least, Modern Martial Arts at 103 West 73rd Street at Columbus Avenue, formerly a laundry.

“We are proud to have one of the healthiest shopping districts in the city, with all 188 stores leased,” says Robert Quinlan, chairman of the Columbus Avenue BID and Principal and Founder of Quinlan Development Group, LLC. “Yet a number of stores in our district would not have been available in their existing sizes if the restricted zoning proposal had passed prior to leasing.”

Adds Ms. Adler, “The Columbus Avenue BID is fortunate to be entirely within the Historic District, which accounts for its low-rise architecture and Old World-inviting corridor. People enjoy strolling the avenue and, with a continuous stretch of interesting shops and restaurants, it’s a natural for tourists and residents, alike. However, we are very worried about the consequences of the upcoming legislation, which will further restrict property owners and businesses along Columbus Avenue that are already protected by the Landmark Preservation Commission. We don’t believe we should have been grouped with this legislation in the first place, as Columbus is very different from Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway.

Note: The proposal to restrict the size of the retail frontage encompasses Columbus Avenue, from 72nd to 87th Streets, Amsterdam Avenue from 72nd to 110th Streets and Broadway from 72nd to 110th Streets.

In addition to being an advocate for commercial interests in the district, the Columbus Avenue BID hosts the annual New Taste of the Upper West Side, www.newtasteuws.com, now in its fifth year, which will be held on Wednesday, May 16th, Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th. Funds raised for the Wednesday night event, Vegetarian at Dovetail, will benefit the Greenhouse Classroom project at the O’Shea School Complex, between 76th and 77th Streets. The two main events — Comfort Classics on Friday night, and Best of the West on Saturday night — will donate funds to Citymeals-on-Wheels, as well as provide additional funding to the Greenhouse Classroom project and funds for phase one of the BID’s Neighborhood Streetscape Beautification Initiative, which expects to break ground in late summer or early fall. Full details of the project may be found on the BID website at www.columbusavenuebid.org.