Lights Off on Broadway

Photo: Elizabeth Wolff

Landlords’ quest to cobble together big spaces to lease to chain stores at high rents seems to be running up against the recession. A mile-long stretch of Broadway, from the West Eighties to the West 100s, is plagued with more than twenty empty storefronts as owners keep shops vacant to consolidate them with adjacent spaces. “It happened all at once,” says powerhouse commercial-real-estate broker Faith Hope Consolo. “But I think the landlords are going to adjust their expectations,” she predicts, and accept lower rents from the neighborhood’s traditional retailers, like gourmet shops.

1. 2385 Broadway
What was once a deli, a locksmith, and a bagel shop is now an empty 6,500-square-foot space with 125 feet of frontage. The owner wants about $1.5 million per year.

2. 2324 Broadway
The old Morris Brothers space—5,600 square feet, with 150 feet of windows—has been empty since the clothing store closed last summer, facing a 250 percent rent hike.

3. 2328 Broadway
The last tenant was a jewelry store; its tattered awning remains.

4. 2452–6 Broadway
Hickey Chemists, Mary Ann’s, and Embassy Florists once filled the three storefronts. They’ve been empty for a year.

5. 2487 Broadway
A Danskin shop sold its last leotards in June.

6. 2495 Broadway
The luxury apartment house opened last year; the sprawling retail space remains empty, asking $1.2 million annually.

7. 2543 Broadway
Women’s boutique Cücü cleared out in July.

8. 2466 Broadway
Liberty House, an old lefty bookstore, closed in September.

9. 2486–8 Broadway
Bookstores Murder Ink and Ivy’s Books and Curiosities couldn’t afford a 5 percent rent increase last year.

10. 2490 Broadway
Tates Menswear lost its lease after 35 years.

11. 2626 Broadway
The interior of the landmarked Metro movie theater was gutted in 2006 to convert the space into a store. With no tenants, the owners are looking to sell, for $15 million.

12. & 13. 2625–33 Broadway and 2628 Broadway
Ariel West and Ariel East: There were no retailers lined up when the controversial high-rises were proposed in 2005; three years later, that hasn’t changed.

14. 2647 Broadway
Sterling Optical’s signage remains.

15. 2649 Broadway
Once an Aerosoles shoe store.

16. 2659–63 Broadway
Formerly a frame shop, a laundromat, and a market, the combined space is on the market for $200 per square foot annually.

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Lights Off on Broadway