columbus retail

Few retail developments have generated as much buzz and rumors as the Leader House, a condo building on Columbus Avenue between 92nd and 93rd streets with a large new two-story retail space. So far a Party City has opened on the 92nd street corner, but there are several more retail spaces whose tenants have not yet been revealed (if they’ve even signed leases).

Over the past months, we’ve heard a ton of rumors and questions about these spaces: people have told us there will be a Trader Joe’s, a Bed, Bath & Beyond and even a Planned Parenthood office in the spaces. That first rumor is unsubstantiated (Trader Joe’s never talks) and the other two have so far been squashed by insiders.

But now a new press release from McGowan Builders, the contractor that completed the development, offers some more juicy hints about what’s coming. Unfortunately, the release is just vague enough to keep us guessing.

“The new space has been well received by the nretail* tenants. New leases are signed or in negotiation by destination retailers, special education schools, health clubs and restaurants.”

And that’s all the detail they give… Restaurants? Health clubs? Schools? “Destination” retailers? Oh, please, stop the suspense!

*nretail appears to be a typo in the release.

NEWS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. Sick says:

      You can indicate an error in material you are quoting with [sic]. As in, ““The new space has been well received by the nretail [sic] tenants.”

    2. Karen says:

      At least it’s not another bank or drug store!

    3. J says:

      Quashed not squashed.

    4. Elizabeth says:

      I live in Leader House and they don’t have any tenants signed. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of violations and a stop work order. There are also a lot of problems in the building; elevators out of order all the time, dirty carpets & peeling wallpaper. This winter we had many days without heat & hot water.The infrastructure is in bad shape because the building was built as low-income/subsidized housing and was not maintained over the years.

      • Gershon says:

        I live in the building as well. I agree with you that, given the general mismanagement of the building, I am very skeptical of any “updates” coming out of leader house or McGowan. Still, I am hopeful that this is behind us.
        If you look into the new commercial units, they are not yet completed. that’s a fact. Sad that this two story project took longer to complete than the total time for the construction of the Empire State Building.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Yes, I agree with you Gershon; way overdue. Personally, based on my experience with management, I think they will take any tenant they can get for those spaces. Check out Columbus Avenue down to 86th Street and you’ll see spaces that have been empty a long time. Northeast corner of 93rd & Columbus that used to be a hardware store has been empty for several years now. We don’t even have a sign with the building number; is that too much to ask?

    5. JOAN says:


    6. Jodie says:

      If they open another freakin’ bank, coffee shop, sneaker store, phone provider, CVS/Duane Reade, or ridiculous high-end make-up shop, I will scream!Yes, to Trader Joe’s, yes to BB&B, yes to another public school!!

    7. maryjane says:

      what’s going on at 95/96 and Amsterdam where the HSBC bank is….is that the same kind of work going on, two story retail.

      • Elizabeth says:

        That building is owned by the same company that owns Leader House; same management. Same situation. The management company is the worst. People are suing in my building because they bought apartments with terraces on lower floors and now with the construction their terraces are blocked and they have no view. The owners knew this was planned and sold these apartments without disclosing that to potential buyers. People are pissed and are suing.
        Can’t blame them.

    8. Michael McNamara says:

      Well my 9 year old is thrilled about Party City. He calls it his favorite store. As for the rest — and for the development at 95th and Amsterdam — I just want something that will come close to replacing Food City. Is that so much to ask?

    9. Jen says:

      I would love this space or the one on 95/96 to have an affordable gym ie Blink Fitness or a Planet Fitness. The neighborhood could REALLY use that!

      *love the Party City!

    10. Alessa says:

      Is Leader House actually transitioning or is it still mostly rental (not that there’s anything wrong with that, just wondering)? I’m just thrilled to have a wide, clean sidewalk there finally.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Leader House went condo almost ten years ago.
        Right now it’s probably 40% condo & 60% long term renters. The renters left don’t plan on leaving. Management is awful and does not inform us regarding anything happening in the building.

    11. 92nd Street says:

      PLEASE no more great NYC style boutiques, Bakery’s, Restaurants, etc.

      What the UWS needs is more gentrification!
      Fast Food

      Let’s make the UWS unremarkable in every way possible!!

      It should not be a cool or hip neighborhood, it SHOULD be familiar of every mall in America. I think a Subways or Dunkin Donuts will serve us best. Leader House should aim to be pathetic.

      • webot says:

        92nd says:”PLEASE no more great NYC style boutiques, Bakery’s, Restaurants, etc.
        What the UWS needs is more gentrification!”

        Actually the above mentioned are what the curmudgeons hate about gentrification. What you are talking about is a special brand of UWS blandification.