Revolving Doors on Second Avenue
BY TERRI HEVERAN
Change continues unabated on Turtle Bay's "Main Street,"
Second Avenue. Perhaps the most obvious one is at the corner of
47th Street, where the newly resurrected Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
Park has become a popular spot for enjoying the autumn weather.
The real estate picture, however, is still one of "revolving
doors": several restaurants have closed in the past year -
two of them old standbys in the neighborhood, Eamonn Doran near
53rd Street and Paparazzi at the corner of 51st Street. Their buildings
stand empty while developers make plans for replacements. Between
47th and 48th Streets the former Lookout seafood restaurant closed
in May after just one year, and the space is now for rent.
On the plus side, we now have a neighborhood bank, with the unlikely
name of Country Bank (a branch of a Westchester bank). It replaced
the dry cleaning shop at the corner of 48th Street. Martell's Grill,
an offshoot of the uptown Martell's, has replaced the Boston Market
on the east side of the avenue just above 50th Street.
Developers assembling properties are one cause of these changes.
For example, the properties at the corner of 53rd Street (including
Eamonn Doran) have been held vacant for years, in anticipation of
a new hotel. The proposed construction at Second Avenue and 53rd
Street will most likely not be a hotel since the zoning precludes
such use except for the first and second floors.
Rising rents are the other major cause. Long-term leases expiring
now must be renewed at substantially higher rents.
On the avenue, yearly rates of $80 or $85 per square foot are
not unheard of, up by a third over the past year and double the
level of five years ago.
Rents could go even higher if, despite all our protests, Trump
World Tower becomes a reality. According to Marilyn Kane of Nichols
& Kane Realty, which specializes in retail properties, local
business people can turn this eventuality into a positive by sprucing
up their properties now, inside and out. Restaurants especially
tend to operate on ten-year leases, and a long-term lease becomes
a valuable commodity in a rising market. "It's a good time
for a facelift," she says.
Home | About
Us | Announcements | History
| Map | Places of Interest
Help Line | Membership
| Links | Yellow Pages
| Advertising | Contact
Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941