8 LONGTIME UPPER WEST SIDE BUSINESSES THAT CLOSED IN 2016

for-rent2
A sign of the times, at a former barbershop on Columbus Avenue.

Several well-known local businesses closed this year, and we thought we’d take a few minutes to remember them. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but includes many of the best-known names.

1. Cardeology – The card and gift store closed its last location at 526 Amsterdam Avenue (85th-86th street) in March after 29 years in the neighborhood. The owner blamed the scaffolding in front of the store for hurting business.

2. Telepan – The upscale restaurant at 72 West 69th Street closed suddenly in May because it couldn’t make enough money to keep up with costs. It had been around for a decade and owner Bill Telepan is a local fixture. He is now cooking at Oceana in Times Square.

3. Jackson Hole – The burger joint at 517 Columbus Avenue at 85th street, closed in June after 42 years.

starbucks closing34. Starbucks – The large corner location on 67th and Columbus closed in June, as the landlord was asking for $140,550 a month for the space.

5. Deluxe Luncheonette – The diner at 2896 Broadway between 112th and 113th closed in August after 17 years of serving neighbors and Columbia students.

6. Grand Metro Hardware – The hardware store on 96th and Broadway had been around for decades before it closed in September. The owners are now directing people to World Hardware at 2617 Broadway (99th).

7. Gracious Home – The housewares store at 67th and Broadway closed this month after 18 years. It liquidated and filed for bankruptcy.

8. 72nd Street Bagel – The bagel spot between Columbus and Broadway lasted 14 years, but didn’t make it to the end of the year. It’s apparently going to become a Kosher restaurant sometime next year.

If you’re in the mood to reminisce, here are 28 spots we lost in 2015.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 112 comments | permalink
    1. Bob says:

      I frequented all of them over the years, but for me Telepan and Gracious Home are the biggest losses. For hardware, if I had a question regarding a screw size or a repair question, no one was better than Gracious Home. Their employees were outstanding and really knew what they were doing.

    2. jeff Berger says:

      I would love to learn the truth about Jackson Hole. The place always seemed busy and the food was great but in the last few months, the place had definitely less people and the quality declined. Was there a change in management? The other locations are still open, so why was it closed? Dose anyone have any idea?

    3. Mike says:

      But hey, at least the mustard store is still around.

      • tyler says:

        hey, personally, I love the Maille mustards. Best mustard in the world. And Fairway only carried the regular Dijon. I stocked up for holiday ham condiments and it was a huge hit.

        bummed about telepan and some of the others. the UWS has fallen victim to what happened to the west village.

    4. As the owner of a retail business on Columbus Avenue, I realize that there is one thing alone that gives local and small business a chance to survive, and that is neighborhood support. Growing sales can help combat the rising and irrepressible cost of doing business in Manhattan. We need everyone’s support!

      • Sherman says:

        Good luck to you but I think Amazon is a bigger threat to UWS retail establishments than the high cost of doing business in Manhattan.

      • geoff says:

        … and support comes from offering for sale something useful, at a reasonable price, something i cannot make myself including food. i can make a really good hamburger, so sell me a better one for a little bit more thanit would cost me. i can buy a nice piece of sockeye salmon so don’t try to pawn off a cheaper fish as sockeye. i can’t make a ceramic mug, but i also can’t afford to buy one for $45. $80 for a t-shirt? come on!

        • Cato says:

          Very well said. Support from the neighborhood depends on support *of* the neighborhood.

          • geoff says:

            i so agree. here is a happy report, about Zucker’s: i can buy a bagel ($1.25), 1/4 pound corned beef ($4.95) go home and put together one of the better sandwiches available on the UWS. a bit of mustard, some onions and voila! good to go for less than $7.00. they’re taking care of our neighborhood, and gained me as a regular customer—one of about (only) four stores i frequent. i refuse to support those who overcharge for what any reasonable person would consider good value.

        • dannyboy says:

          not the situation for many stores that closed:

          Cardeology
          Telepan
          Grand Metro Hardware

      • jeff Berger says:

        Question NIcole: My parents owned a small business upstate from 1972 to 1999. I know how the struggled to keep the business going. NYC and NYS have the most business unfriendly laws and taxes. How will your business deal with a $15 minimum wage. Can you afford that and how will that impact your business? I think that this will be the death of more mom and pops than Amazon.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        thank you Nicole, i try to patronize small local businesses when i can. indeed, the super high rents are a problem, and we need some form of commercial rent regulation on the UWS.

        • stevieboy says:

          In the words of our Orange Overlord….

          Wrong!!

          • dannyboy says:

            as context:

            stevieboy says:
            September 12, 2016 at 7:59 pm

            Oh, DannyBoy…the pipes, the pipes and so on and so forth…
            It’s funny you should ask because I have been in and out of mental institutions and asylums my entire life. I was actually conceived in the psych ward at Arkam, the product of a brilliant, young psychiatrist and a criminally insane prostitute.
            After I was adopted by a very well-to-do UWS family I was forced to attend all of your fancy Prep Schools and Ivy League Universities…that was where the real horrors took place.
            I thought I could handle anything at that point, numb to the pain of a lifetime of abuse and regret. And then….just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, when I thought the universe had taken everything from me….even thinking about it now, years later sends a shiver down my spine….
            THEY CLOSED BIG NICK’S!!!!!! something inside me snapped and I haven’t been the same since. Now I just roam message boards and threads reeking havoc like the demented nihilistic maniac that I am…..MUAHHHHHHhhh MuahHHHHh:)
            So, what’s your diagnosis, Counselor?? and more importantly, do you have a prescription pad?
            Reply

            • stevieboy says:

              AHHHH HAHahAHAH Dannyboy!!! You are the best!!

              You saved that!!! hahahah

              I should be paying YOU rent because obviously I’m living in your head!!! I love it. (do i get rent control on that?)

              Admit it…you love my creative writing. Bet you googled Arkham too….probably don’t know that much about the DC Universe.

            • dannyboy says:

              stevieboy,

              you must know that there is a “Search” function on WSR. It’s easy.

              The remainder of your comment makes no sense (again), so i can’t reply.

    5. Johnny says:

      And still Council Member Rosenthal does not push to get a vote on SBJSA (small business jobs survival act. Local politicians are doing nothing to save our small business’. Time for new local leaders.

      • Sherman says:

        The SBJSA is little more than commercial rent control (even though it’s advocates deny it is).

        Of course we all know what a great job residential rent regulation has done to alleviate housing affordability issues in NYC.

        SBJSA would be a disaster and if a store or restaurant can’t offer a good product or service commercial rent regulation will not help it survive.

        I do, however, agree with you that Rosenthal is a weasel and I wish she would go away.

        • dannyboy says:

          “Of course we all know what a great job residential rent regulation has done to alleviate housing affordability issues in NYC.”

          Sherman, I acknowledge your new attitude. An open mind is a true gift!

          • Sherman says:

            Well rent control has been very good for you.

            How was your trip to Europe? Glad you can afford it!

            • Mark says:

              If you can’t afford a trip to Europe you probably shouldn’t be living on the UWS.

            • dannyboy says:

              Rosario Islands, Columbia

              fantastic!

            • stevieboy says:

              How dare you?!?

              It was South America….not Europe.:)

            • dannyboy says:

              as context:

              stevieboy says:
              September 12, 2016 at 7:59 pm
              Oh, DannyBoy…the pipes, the pipes and so on and so forth…
              It’s funny you should ask because I have been in and out of mental institutions and asylums my entire life. I was actually conceived in the psych ward at Arkam, the product of a brilliant, young psychiatrist and a criminally insane prostitute.
              After I was adopted by a very well-to-do UWS family I was forced to attend all of your fancy Prep Schools and Ivy League Universities…that was where the real horrors took place.
              I thought I could handle anything at that point, numb to the pain of a lifetime of abuse and regret. And then….just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, when I thought the universe had taken everything from me….even thinking about it now, years later sends a shiver down my spine….
              THEY CLOSED BIG NICK’S!!!!!! something inside me snapped and I haven’t been the same since. Now I just roam message boards and threads reeking havoc like the demented nihilistic maniac that I am…..MUAHHHHHHhhh MuahHHHHh:)
              So, what’s your diagnosis, Counselor?? and more importantly, do you have a prescription pad?
              Reply

            • Claude says:

              dannyboy – I thought you were a retired educator – since you are so quick to correct everyone else’s errors, let me not hesitate to note that it is spelled Colombia, not Columbia. They might dock your pension COLA for that one…

            • dannyboy says:

              Claude,

              As I posted just today, I AM NOT A RETIRED TEACHER, NOR DO I RECEIVE A TEACHER PENSION.

              For today, this is the most egregious lie posted and reposted. You win that.

            • Claude says:

              dannyboy,
              Unlike you, I have better things to do with my life than parse through the minutia of everyone’s posts here. That being said, you wrote that you taught for 7 years, which qualifies you for a pension (minimum is 5 unless you just started). Sorry you are missing out.

              And really good job of dodging the point that you can’t spell Colombia even though you apparently were just there. Way to obfuscate the truth.

              TTFN,

              Claude

            • dannyboy says:

              ” That being said, you wrote that you taught for 7 years, which qualifies you for a pension (minimum is 5 unless you just started).” – Claude

              do you even more misinformation to share?

            • Claude says:

              Nope. I only traffic in the truth. Instead of spending your life on this site and being a snarky armchair quarterback, perhaps you can contribute your time and, better yet, some positive energy to society.

              TTFN and happy holidays,

              Claude

            • dannyboy says:

              Claude,

              so far, on this one thread, you have accused me of being a retired teacher (which I am not, and explained) and of course must be receiving a teacher’s pension (which I explained twice, but you can’t accept).

              besides consistently lying and accusing, what do you do?

              that’s right, you deny every lie and continue to base your bs on my misspelling of “Colombia”.

              Well Claude, I misspelled Colombia as a result of just sending a check to my Alma Mater “Columbia” for deserving students.

              You, I understand, “contribute your time and, better yet, some positive energy to society.”

              but, i tend not to believe that

    6. Carol says:

      Grand Metro Hardware was open yesterday to
      To sell off their stock. Everything was 50% off. Broadway and 95th

      • dannyboy says:

        i LOVE their inventory!

        Like shopping in some foreign country, I’m sure I’ll find something.

        • Mark says:

          It’s like shopping in a foreign country because few of their staff speak English.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            somehow, i never found a problem communicating. most or all of their staff spoke English fluently. for many, it was their native language. (I guess you don’t know the language of Jamaica is English.)

          • dannyboy says:

            yes,

            i love learning new languages too!

    7. arnie says:

      This does not surprise me. I wake up each day to a new business landscape, most of which is not what the area needs. This has caused much hardship to the loyal, long time workers, in jobs that do not necessarily pay very well but they are steady. The driving force behind all this, are the tax laws that allow commercial real estate owners to write off properties that lie fallow, instead of renegotiating a fair price for rent.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        Arnie:

        I have looked into this, as the business space staying empty seems counter-intuitive. An example is RCI Appliances, on BWay circa 98th or 99th. They raised the rent and the place, which had been there for decades, had to leave. Now the space has lied empty for years.

        As far as I know, there are no special tax laws that allow landlords to “write off” commercial spaces. the property tax on the building is the property tax. I’ve asked about this a number of times on this space and been told i am right. I would appreciate any further information if i am missing something.

        what i’ve been told is that an empty commercial space can increase the resale valuation of the building, as the space is not encumbered by a long term lease. it’s the opposite of “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

        but it is perplexing: why do these spaces stay empty?

        • dannyboy says:

          Bruce,

          The Property Tax IS deductible from US Income Taxes.

          i miss RCI

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            Dannyboy,

            the property tax in the building is the same, whether the store is empty or not. the property tax is based on the assessment of the property.

            having more revenue seems like a no brainer.

            • dannyboy says:

              it’s two hamburgers tomorrow or one hamburger today

            • manhattan mark says:

              Bruce & DannyBoy; You are both right , If you own property,you pay the tax. Owners of commercial space would
              rather lease the space to a National chain which can keep paying the rent even if the location is not yet producing
              enough money to pay all it’s bills. Keep talking “boys” on
              WSR, your info is always good and the humor gets me
              here first thing in the morning.

            • dannyboy says:

              manhattan mark,

              that’s “Mr” dannyboy

          • Woody says:

            My cat’s breath smells like cat food.

    8. Carlos says:

      And how many of these spaces have been replaced with a new store rather than now sitting empty? Landlords are entitled to try to maximize their profits (contrary to the beliefs of many of my neighbors) but it is amazing how shortsighted many of them are. This morning I walked past the McDonald’s and Duane Reade on Broadway in the low 80s that have been vacant for years – not a smart move.

      • Cato says:

        Impose a vacancy tax on any commercial property left vacant for six months. It might even be graduated to increase by a percentage point every six months the store remains vacant.

        The impending added cost will provide incentive to landlords to rent the space rather than gamble by waiting for a bank/DuaneReade/big box to come along — eventually. The waiting period before the tax kicks in will give the landlords enough time to find a tenant who can responsibly fill the space.

        • Steen says:

          Completely agree Cato. I think 6 months is a bit extreme, but I am in favor of starting to ding them after a year or two of vacancy; and no, throwing in a pop up halloween store for a few months won’t reset the clock.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          it’s kind of interesting… instead of taxing economic activity, you are taxing INACTIVITY.

          of course, there would have to be some form of exemption for recessions.

          I don’t see what is wrong with plain old commercial rent control / rent stabilization.

          • stevieboy says:

            wow, thank god you don’t get a say in anything then. Whewwwww…dodged a bullet there.

            What you know about real estate and finance couldn’t fill a 4×6 index card.

            Happy Holidays!

    9. stevieboy says:

      Trump will get this all straightened out.

    10. John says:

      Makes more room for needed banks, not enough places for west siders to store their cash

      • dannyboy says:

        “places for west siders to store their cash”

        you seem to be optimistic about those UWSers getting that cash back.

    11. Andrew Velez says:

      The tax laws allow landlords to deduct residential apartments too.This is the reason rents never go down. There is zero incentive for landlords to negotiate any rents residential or commercial. The forces of the free market are not allowed to work where real estate is concerned. I have always found it amazing how local (or any) politicians refuse to help people with REAL local issues like rent (by advocating removal of this tax give away) or health care (by advocating for single payer). Tough issues but you have to start somewhere. Why not start locally. Our corporate media will never educate us about the good these two simple changes will bring but that is what real leaders are supposed to do. They should at least talk about it. The silence is what kills me. If you have a better idea let’s talk about it.

      • EricaC says:

        What do you mean by writing off residential apartments? I think Bruce got it right above with respect to property taxes – the property taxes are what they are. Income tax law probably does permit them to write off the expenses of these units as business expenses. But that is not a city-imposed tax.

        I agree that there is something “off” in the incentives, but I don’t think that this persistent notion of “writing off” vacant spaces is the source – though I know I may be missing something. I would like to understand, because I do think some kind of incentive change is needed, and taxes are often used for that purpose (hence the complexity of the tax code).

        • B.B. says:

          Posted this before in another discussion about vacant commercial property.

          “The IRS lets you deduct ordinary and necessary expenses required to manage, conserve, or maintain property that you rent to others. You’re allowed to deduct these expenses if your property is vacant, as long as you’re trying to rent it.

          Also, expenses must be deducted in the year they are paid. For example, if a pest-control company serviced your rental in 2013 but you didn’t pay them until early 2014, you’d deduct that expense on your 2014 tax return.”

          https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2396075-can-i-deduct-expenses-for-a-rental-property-that-was-not-rented-in-2013-during-major-renovations

          Long story short yes, owners are allowed to deduct certain expenses for a vacant property long as they are actively trying to rent the place. Hence all those empty store fronts with signs/banners in windows with broker contact information.

          How long any individual owner can afford to leave a space vacant depends upon their fiscal situation. A small co-op building that is hurting for money would be different than any of the large real estate families who have huge portfolios of holdings.

          • dannyboy says:

            Correct. The deductability of these carrying costs enable these landlords to hold their properties vacant in anticipation of either:

            1. A high rental tenant
            2. A Developer coming along to buy out the current landlord. The vacancy of course makes the property value higher as the developer can do whatever he wants with it.

            Amidst all these rants about how tenants are ruining the real estate market, the truth, that it is the landlords ruining it is hidden.

            Ever wonder why there is so much false information being propagated?

            just follow the money

      • Shamir says:

        I’m a CPA and I know something about taxes.

        Your rants make absolutely zero sense.

      • dannyboy says:

        I’m a human being (with an MBA Finance, top school) and 30 years on Wall Street.

        You got it ALL right.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          Dannyboy, i’m not sure he does have it right.

          I’m not sure what is meant by “deduct” residential apartments. if an apartment is empty, the building has less revenue. the property tax doesn’t change, as far as i know.

          • dannyboy says:

            Bruce,

            both Shamir and I replied to Andrew Velez’s Comment. Go back to the beginning of the Thread.

        • dannyboy says:

          what is it about Andrew Velez’s Comment that got you so twisted up in your knickers Shamir?

    12. John says:

      Thank you WSR. “Closed” not that pretentious
      “shuttered”

    13. JWM says:

      Have you ever looked at all the Amazon packages that are sent to your building?
      Why shop at stores when you can buy everything with a few mouse clicks and receive it the next day. Just me being sarcastic… but if you don’t think the e-economy is having its effect on the mom and
      pop retail you are mistaken.

      • Mark says:

        Given the rude service I often encounter at stores, I love Amazon.
        Just click and receive.
        No attitude at all.

        • dannyboy says:

          i enjoy the human interaction

          but to each, his own

          • Mark says:

            How was the customer service in “Columbia”?

            • dannyboy says:

              Mark,

              As an Alumni and third generation of graduates of the professional schools of “Columbia”, I have to say it has been great!

            • Claude says:

              dannyboy,
              As the blood relative of several alumni (plural) of Columbia’s graduate schools, I am embarrassed that you referred to yourself in the singular as “an alumni.” My relatives as well as RBG and Warren Buffett do not appreciate dannyboy devaluing their degrees.

              Though it is a lot of fun how easily people can get you riled up.

            • Mark says:

              You would be an alumnus, not an alumni.
              If you want to brag about your educational prowess, you should probably try to master basic grammar and spelling.

            • dannyboy says:

              Claude, Mark,

              In an attempt to reason, I offer the following:

              Columbia University offers an education in thinking critically and professional preparation.

              I can see both of you have mastered the skill of spelling on the internet.

              Congratulations on that.

      • Anon says:

        Supply and demand should work this all out to some degree, right?

        If people are getting needs met on Amazon that would otherwise get met at local stores, this should exert some amount of downward pressure on commercial rent.

        I understand higher overheads in NYC are a real thing, but it’s not the only factor at play here. Rents are a marketplace.

        • dannyboy says:

          Here are the Supply and Demand dynamics at play:

          Demand Dynamics
          The previous 3 Economic Classes have transformed. The Upper Economic Class no longer uses stores because they have become so incredibly wealthy that they have services for acquiring goods.

          The Middle Economic Class no longer has time. With an overextended commitment to work, they can’t shop (thus delivery services).

          The lower class doesn’t have the money to shop.

          Supply Economics

          Concurrent with and contributing to the economic dynamics has created a class of Landlords rentiers. They either hold out for high paying tenants (either luxury goods for those High Economic Classes, or Banks who can extend credit to the other 2 Economic Classes. Alternatively, the landlord comes to view his property, not as an
          income-yielding asset, but rather a transactional investment. Keep it vacant to attract a higher price from a developer.

          And you thought those were storefronts to serve people in the community. Not

    14. Margaret says:

      Too bad about Lime Leaf too. They were one of my favorite takeout spots.

    15. Bruce Bernstein says:

      we obviously need some form of commercial rent regulation. what does it take to make that clear? let’s have a little common sense. this is advanced capitalism, eating its own.

      • GG says:

        I like the turnover. sue me

      • dannyboy says:

        The regulations are currently INTENDED to favor landlords over tenants (the deductability of carrying costs, for example).

        Who do you think is funding your politicians’campaigns? Who will be hiring your “representatives” after their political stint? You?

    16. yoyomama says:

      I like Cato’s vacancy tax suggestion. Good idea!

      As a sidenote – I’d love to know how long the old Dramatics for Hair been empty on Columbus. One eon or two?

      I can’t imagine any other biz paying what Starbucks couldn’t for that space on 67th St. and Columbus Ave.

      And while we’re at it… why do all these real estate companies need storefronts?

      • Cato says:

        “…why do all these real estate companies need storefronts?”

        To be sure to get the attention of all the New Upper West Siders as they stroll from their banks.

      • B.B. says:

        They don’t, and in case you’ve haven’t noticed many real estate offices are closing locations. IIRC one or two alone on Columbus between 80th and about 78th are gone.

        Citi Habitats has been closing offices as well, in fact they just announced their ionic office in West Village that has been down there for decades is shuttering.

        Same ole, same ole; thanks to modern technology you just don’t need all these physical locations.

    17. B.B. says:

      Everyone keeps focusing on commercial rents, which is only part of the equation.

      More and more persons running and or wanting to open a business are realizing they don’t need the hassle and expense of a retail location.

      To survive in retail today for NYC you need either *very* deep pockets, and or have something that simply cannot be found elsewhere or would be more expensive. That and or count upon impulse buying.

      Look around, on both UES and UWS the most common thing that opens today in a vacant space (if it rents at all) is food/drink related. People have to eat several times per day and need to drink. Places like Sweet Greens are packed around meal times.

      If you are selling anything today from appliances to antiques online is probably your largest competitor. New York politicians raved against Walmart, but Amazon.com and other Internet sites are killing retail businesses both small and large.

    18. Jake Reynolds says:

      One of the biggest problems is the increase in real estate taxes that go up every year. I have owned a building on UWS with a commercial tenant on ground floor and RE taxes went from 28k to 90k in 15 years. And that annual RE taxes is what pushes up the cost of all products and services in NYC as the RE tax increase is passed partially onto the tenant. My tenant is struggling to stay afloat after 9 years in business and my bldg barely makes any money after all the expenses. NYC government could care less the damage they do to small business and small property owners.

      • Claude says:

        Real Estate taxes are going up because the cost of pensions for folks like dannyboy are going up very rapidly so they need to cover those costs.

        Everyone here complains about all of the fancy new developments in the neighborhood. Many (though not all – stupid tax abatements) pay a lot of taxes. These taxes allow the city to moderate tax increases somewhat, allowing landlords to moderate rent increases. If it wasn’t for new developments, rents would be even higher and even more local businesses would be leaving.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          cmon guys. Storefront leases on the Upper West Side are going up astronomically, 100% or more. this can’t be attributed to Danny Boy’s pension.

        • dannyboy says:

          Claude,

          You lying about my receiving a teacher’s pension is getting stale. It only serves to discredit your comments.

          I have in fact spent an inordinate amount of time correcting your lies.

          I have even explained my misspelling to you.

          Now, if you have any character, please explain your need for lying.

          Please explain your need for lying, once corrected.

          Please explain your need for lying twice corrected.

          Maybe it might be shorter for you to explain why lying is what you consistently do, for those who just don’t get why.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            Dannyboy, my apologies.

            my mother is a retired teacher, as was my late father, so i am fully in favor of teachers getting pensions they worked so hard for. similarly with all NYC and NY STate employees.

            When people trash workers who get pensions, i like to ask them, “shouldn’t we all be getting decent pensions when we have worked enough time?”

            • Mark says:

              I agree Bruce!
              Not sure why any is begrudging dannyboy and his pension.

            • dannyboy says:

              This meme of Teacher’s Pensions bankrupting America is an old, worn tool of the uninformed.

              I have tried to explain this with reason, but only receive replies that “I have better things to do with my life than parse through the minutia of everyone’s posts here.” as their justification for making their shite up and an easier alternative to telling the truth.

            • as long as you don’t have to pay for it right???

              so generous with other people’s money. keep feeding the pigs,

              I guess it is true that the Baby Boomers are the most selfish and entitled generation ever. The Greatest Generation is turning in their graves at how you have tarnished their amazing legacy. SAD

            • dannyboy says:

              SouthernGenltleman,

              Of course I pay for it. I gladly pay my taxes to provide the promised pension obligations that we made to our teachers.

              And, I expect from the attitude you display towards honoring those commitments, I pay more towards those obligations than you.

              Sorry for your circumstances, but you are directing your resentment in the wrong direction if you think teachers caused your problems.

            • Mark says:

              You do realize that the generation to which you refer (the ones spinning in their graves) were a generation of workers that generally received pensions, right?
              I know that facts are hard and they get in the way of emotions, but please try a bit harder.

        • B.B. says:

          Commercial real estate taxes are going up because they *can*. Mostly having to do with the byzantine, archaic and quite honestly skewed to protecting single/two family property tax code of NYC/NYS.

          Everyone knows the NYS and NYC property tax code is dysfunctional, overly complicated and favors some over others. Addressing those issues would open a huge can of worms that no politician wants to touch.

          Commercial rates are considered cash cows to NYS and NYC under the working theory owners of such are “loaded”. That and or such costs can be recouped from rents.

          For the record residential real estate that is rental property is taxed as commercial, and this includes RC and RS housing.

          When the city or state needs revenue *now* raising commercial property taxes has an immediate effect. Meanwhile (again) due to the bizarre structure of the property tax code increases in single/two family, co-op and condo rates are phased in over several years and cannot increase more than a certain percentage within a twenty year period.

          Wait have something wrong; IIRC condo and co-op units are taxed as *rental* properties. Worse that number is based upon average rates for comparable rental housing on same block/area. So if you have a luxury condo on a block with everything else middle income or lower rental housing, their property taxes are based upon those rent rolls.

    19. Sean says:

      They closed. They’re gone. It’s over. Bring on the dancing girls.

      • manhattan mark says:

        As Yogi said, “It’s never over till it’s over”. The reality is that
        it’s NEVER OVER. Everything in this universe is in a state of
        change…some of it very slow and some surprisingly fast.

        • dannyboy says:

          THIS IS THE MOST INSIGHTFUL COMMENT!

          but are these changes for the better or worse?

          • Sean says:

            From your mouth to God’s ear?

          • manhattan mark says:

            Mr. Dannyboy the changes are coming, both positive and
            negative. How the human race responds to them determine
            whether they are good or bad…think positive.

            • dannyboy says:

              manhattan mark,

              Again I agree wholeheartedly. For myself and my own, I have a very positive attitude. What I find myself doing however, is actively opposing those “bad” actors. I do feel that those in a position to do so, need actively stop the inevitable harm falling on the more vulnerable.

    20. B.B. says:

      In just a few days several new laws will take affect that will have a direct impact on restaurants; increased minimum wage and overtime.

      http://ny.eater.com/2016/12/28/14098550/restaurant-workers-can-expect-new-years-raises-carnegie-deli-sees-final-days-and-more-intel

      Restaurants, diners, take-away joints, etc… all are going to have to find ways to deal with these mandated cost increases. Some will simply pass them along to customers, others are going to look at other ways of coping.

      Oh and the mayor is dropping strong hints as he runs for re-election that a future property tax increase cannot be ruled out.

      It is likely many owners are simply going to find owning such businesses neither profitable nor pleasurable and close.

    21. Mark Moore says:

      Starbucks makes what, maybe $2.50 per drink it sells? At $140K per month that’s 56,000 drinks just to pay the rent, or 1866 per day or over 100 for every hour it’s open. No wonder they closed. (Yes, you can lecture me on coffee economics now.)

    22. Phoebe says:

      Well, since Starbucks makes burnt-tasting coffee that no combination of sugars can improve, I will hold my breath in prayer every once in awhile that they improve, or better, lose another store. Does anyone here remember that coffee shop on 49th Street and 9th? There were comfy chairs and poetry, not all that long ago. I even miss Barnes and Noble near LC. It was not a Mom and Pop, but just personal enough, w/o being intrusive. Sigh.

    23. B.B. says:

      Don’t know really how Starbuck’s makes any money. Most of their locations have turned into quasi senior centers, student lounges, wives/mothers kaffee klatsch, and when weather is not good homeless shelter.

      For all that space you can often not find anywhere to sit as persons having purchased one cup (if that) sit there for hours. If you want a NYT or WSJ better get there early, by noon in most locations persons have turned the place into a free “reading library” by helping themselves. Find this is especially true on Sundays where it is often impossible to find a newspaper that hasn’t been picked over and is otherwise intact.

      Things only got worse when SB began offering free WiFi. Places now are often treated like home offices or study halls. Again for one cup of coffee they camp out all day plugged in.

      For the record SB closed and or moved more than a few locations in Manhattan. Most of these were where original locations with leases that were signed ten, twenty or so years ago that are now coming up for renewal. Just like everyone lese SB often finds itself being hit with huge rent increases. This prompts (as it should) a cost benefit analysis of the store’s performance and if something else (for less money) could be found near.

      On the UES/Yorkville SB had a huge two floor store on East 81st and Second. About two years ago after a rent increase they moved one block south to a smaller store with only one floor.

    24. Sean says:

      The W70s are in the late stages of gentrification. It is a boom town. What it isn’t is 40 years ago.