Duane Reade will be closing its three-level store at 325 Columbus Avenue on 75th Street, the company said in a sign on the door. The news comes after two other chains closed on the same block — Starbucks shuttered its cafe across the street earlier this year, and Chase Bank announced in September that it was closing its branch on the north half of the Duane Reade block.
A spokesperson for Walgreens, which owns Duane Reade, did not respond to a request for more information on why it is closing. Walgreens is also shuttering other neighborhood locations.
Corporate chains were once the bogeyman on the Upper West Side, but some outlets have been embraced. The Starbucks that closed had a devoted clientele who petitioned the corporate office unsuccessfully to keep it open. Locals are getting nervous — if the big guys can’t pay the rent, or don’t want to, who will move in?
“The [Duane Reade] space is absolutely massive with three floors, I have no idea what could possibly be able to come in and afford the space,” wrote Michelle Collins in an email to West Side Rag.
Our tipster Kevin, who sent the photo above, worried that few business can make it in the area anymore.
“I’m increasingly concerned for the quality of the neighborhood with this latest closing. If Duane Reade, Chase, and Starbucks all can’t operate profitably here, how can anything survive? I’m not sure what the landlords of these addresses are planning on for the future, but these are very large spaces with massive rents and I imagine they’ll need to subdivide it. If it wasn’t for Asset opening and Da Capo, this block would look post-apocalyptic.”