Friday, August 24, 2012

Colony's Landlord: Shame, Shame, Shame

By now you've heard the news, first released yesterday here and since spread like wildfire, that Colony Records must close its long-standing Times Square home in the next month or so. Today, the Post followed up on the story and reported that the reason for the closure is not just because we all have iPods, it's because Colony's landlord is quintupling the rent to $5 million. Per MONTH.


flickr

With a hike like that this is, essentially, an eviction. What landlord is doing this to a New York Institution?

The Brill Building was sold in 2007 to Stonehenge Properties for $151 million. Here's the rendering they present of the future Brill at 1619 Broadway--and Colony's space--on their website today:



"Generation," a fantasy big-box flagship store features the usual glass and glitz, the skinny girls in bathing suits, with the giant handbags and glowering faces, the horror of contemporary life in New York City. And here's how they're marketing it:



"Amazing opportunity for a brand to control a high-trafficked corner location"--can accommodate "big box"--in the spot where a family-run business thrived for 6 decades and contributed so much to America's cultural history.

It happens that Stonehenge is the same group that evicted every long-term, mom-and-pop tenant in their building on 9th Avenue between 17th and 18th. I've been writing about those people for years.

This is how Stonehenge advertises their 9th Avenue building today--with a banner announcing it as a gateway to the High Line, and "New Era. New York."



I feel fucking sick.


28 comments:

Roger said...

Even as a Brit who is only an occasional visitor to New York I think this is an absolutely tragedy. I have spent many hours in this store flicking through the vinyl/CD's. These kind of stores are becoming few and far between in both our cities and they are becoming all the poorer for it.

Anonymous said...

Stoneenge is a partnership formed by a person from NY/NJ and an Israeli in the early 1990s. Guess no one can blame midwesterners for this.

Times Square is a shithole.

Marty Wombacher said...

Horrible news, I'm going this Saturday for a final visit and then I'm never returning to this corner.

Anonymous said...

But what can we do about it? Not just this particular instance but for the situation in general? Is there any action that we can take to prevent/slow/stop the onslaught? Please let me know!

everettsville said...

It looks and feels like pure evil, doesn't it? A nightmare of coldness and luxury isolation. This is the world they want us to live in.

Anonymous said...

There was always something comforting and appropriate to have Colony in the Times Square area.

I can hardly wait for the next soulless piece of retail crap to move in.

Isn't it time for another b.s. themed restaurant or boring retail? How about a Walmart?

Times Square is a place for out of towners to go so they stay out of my neighborhood.

If gas would go to $12/gallon so those double decker buses would disappear. . . or at least stay out of Brooklyn.

Ms. said...

Commerce eats the world again, and the irony of the real estate group's name does not escape dark humor, while they worship not the moon, nor the season, nor animal life, nor reason at the shrine of diminishing value. Paper money will fall, and so will they all.

Utherben said...

I've got to walk over to Colony, take some photos & pick up some sheet music before it's gone. This is a real assault on Midtown West, which still has a good deal of old-skool New York flavor (if you know where to look).

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I've started to see your banners all over the city. Great job. I was so sick of all the weird-looking, poor living in this city. I'm so glad someone like Stonehedge is changing the way New York looks. It reminds me of where I just came from, Indiana. And kudos for putting Colony out of business...everytime I went in there I sneezed from the dust. If I may, could you please put in a gigantic Aeropostle? I love love love their clothes. All my friends wear it. I may also need an apartment and I see you have a few in Chelsea. I prefer to be above a Duane Reade as well as a bank so I can get money out anytime. And can you please evict those weird-looking poor people? I want to invite all my Indiana friends over and I want them to feel safe and not have to buy their pop from someone that doesn't speak english.

Thanks Stonehedge. You're kicking ass!

~Bryce Allen

glamma said...

those people at stonehenge have more money than god. they should be jailed for crimes against culture and crimes against humanity!

dash said...

Five million dollars a month?

I have the same thought as Anon. 10:52. What can be done? There are plenty of pissed off people in this city, many of whom are vetting their anger through blogs. But how effective is it? What can we do? Any thoughts?

JAZ said...

"can accommodate "big box"--in the spot where a family-run business thrived for 6 decades and contributed so much to America's cultural history."

The sickest thing is, if they actually just put this in their advertisement, it would probably attract even more of these big box fucks.

Anonymous said...

Hello Stonehedge,

Me again, Bryce Doggy Dogg. I couldn't help but admire your website and blog. So glad the weird-looking poor people aren't on there. Well, expect for the 'Giving Back' link. It's always nice to raise funds for the disenfranchised with a banging' ass DJ party with hot chicks and beer bongs. Sweeeeeeet yo. So all those hot chicks in the ads for apartments holding martini glasses and wearing awesome sunglasses...wear are they living? Is there availabilty in their complex?

Thanks again Stonehedge. Really looking forward to playing corn-hole on the NYC streets with my neighbors (I hope people don't mind walking in the street while we play;) Peeeace.

~Bryce Allen

Anonymous said...

Yo Stony Stone Stone doing the bone. It's your boy B Dog in the mutha-cracking hiizzouse. That's right, just me and my homies pulling a couple tubes while we get ready to eat at Applebee's in Times Square. It's always Friday in here fooo! I tried to get my friends to eat the local immigrant restaurant below my crib but they were turned off funky curry smell. Anyway...wait, I forgot what I was going to say. Until next time...

~Bryce Allen

Anonymous said...

I just can't believe this a friend and I were just walking by the Colony and I said to him well thankfully that's still there. This landlord stuff has got to stop. Bloomberg is actually taking this city away from New Yorkers and handing it to his real estate developer buddies who create only luxury apartments and his wealthy landlord, CEO, buddies and making it a great place for them and rich tourists. The Colony is a New York institution. Bloomberg does not love New York he loves money.

Crazy Eddie said...

You know, with all of this “Stonehedge” talk, I got a Spinal Tap flashback. But in this case, I didn’t laugh.

laura said...

as they say in palm beach: "its not about the $$$. its about the $$$". do you think they could move elsewhere? maybe downscale.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

So depressing. Of course change is inevitable, but the pace at which the city is being pillaged by developers is mind-boggling. Like a speeded up film, only it's real time.

BabyDave said...

You know, I was afraid to read this post, and my fears were justified. I suppose I will just have to keep viewing "Sweet Smell of Success" to keep in mind how dynamic this city can be.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal on Stonehenge (http://www.stonehengenyc.com/):


Stonehenge Partners is a New York based real estate company founded by Ofer Yardeni and Joel Seiden in the early 1990’s.

Stonehenge was initially formed to take advantage of the distressed New York City real estate market. In 1995, the Company began investing with Cadim, a division of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, today integrated in the activities of SITQ, a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse. Over the last 18 years, Stonehenge has continued to invest with Cadim and now Ivanhoe Cambridge Residential, along with establishing partnerships with other institutions such as SL Green Realty Corp. and Invesco Real Estate as well as private investors.

Today, Stonehenge acquires, redevelops, finances and manages commercial and residential real estate in New York City with a primary focus on the multifamily asset class.

Together with its institutional and private partners, Stonehenge owns and manages a portfolio consisting of 27 properties representing over 3,000 residential apartment units, retail, office, and garage space. The portfolio is valued at nearly $2.2 billion based on recent independent third party appraisals.

The Company is supported by a team that consists of over 55 professionals with expertise in acquisitions, development, financing, construction, leasing and property management. The Company is fully integrated between investment, asset and property management positioning Stonehenge as a unique player in the marketplace.

They could care less about "your" New York City. To them, it's just another goldmine or mint!

Anonymous said...

Stonehenge needs to be colostomized the same way they're fucking NYC in the ass.

THE NOTORIOUS L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. said...

Corporations have devoured this city at an alarming rate since 9/11 and this obsession with tourism and tourist money is disgusting. It's all going to come back to bite them in the ass when the city becomes on big bland strip mall. Don't be surprised when people suddenly fail to see the value of eating a $50 meal at TGIFriday's or owning 9,000 A&F t-shirts if, god help us, there's another terror attack. They'll all pack up and abandon Times Square the same way business abandoned the new Trade Center site.

Anonymous said...

To everyone asking "what can i do to stop this from happening?" Its pretty simple. Go shop there. Apparently not enough people are.

Anonymous said...

While I hate to lose a place like Colony and see it replaced by another polished turd of kontemporary kulture, you have to understand that although their rent is going through the roof they haven't exactly priced their merchandise to sell over the years. This past weekend I saw an interview with one of the managers of the store giving his explanation of why the store is closing. He said IIRC it was the 'perfect storm' of rents rising, bad economy, and the internet 'implosion' (although I think implosion wasn't being used in the right context). What he forgot to mention was that most of their product, like their rising rent, was priced off the charts and stocked clearly for the purposes of tourists who either had no concept of dollar value because they're from a foreign country or the tourists who have the 'what the hell I'm on vacation and I want this now' money. For NYC locals who are active LP and memorabilia collectors Colony was a great place to window shop, more a museum than a place that you would actually spend money at. The prices weren't just high, they were insultingly high and clearly designed for the amateur. No doubt there's alot of authentic great stuff at Colony, but the only thought you would have looking at their price tags was 'I can find this way cheaper at a flea market, eBay, or Craigslist'. So in my estimation if Colony was more interested in moving ALL of their inventory out the door, they should've priced it to sell. I'm not saying give it away, but at least make people feel that if they're spending $150 on a piece of Beatle memorabilia or $100 on a rare LP, that it's money well spent. Would that've solved their rent problems? Maybe not, but perhaps if it was a place that encouraged locals as well as tourists to shop they would've been clearing twice the profit, and maybe that would've saved them from being yet another casualty of the ridiculous New-New York mono culture.

Anonymous said...

To those of you here that have posted 'what can we do about this?', what can we do about the fabric of New York City being destroyed? The answer to that is NOTHING! There is absolutely NOTHING you can do except leave New York City, which personally, after 26 years of being here, I am putting wheels in motion to do so. I have a couple of other cities in mind, it's just a question of finding work in those places. If there's some good opportunity, I'm out of here. There's nothing wrong with being upset by what's going on here right now, but to think that something can be done to reverse it is not realistic. If you were lucky enough to live here as long as I have be glad that you got to see the last REAL era of what it meant to live in New York. It used to be a place to forge a unique existence, now it's just a place for...existence. Here's a model for how the elite economy works here now: work at corporation, sleep, eat and cocktail at high-end establishments. Repeat cycle. It's just an 'existence' motivated by nothing.

Like Patti Smith said 'find another city'.

It's done!

Anonymous said...

Hey Stonehead,

It's Bizzle again. Killer weekend yo. My peeps and I took advantage of the nice weather and traveled old-school style, via boat, to the means streets of Williamsburg, BK. If this isn't the epicenter of hipness, then take me back to Soho. Saw a lot of beards and pretty tight jeans. Not sure if I can do that but I'm gonna try anyway. My boys picked up some sweet new sandals and a couple pairs of basketball shorts while myself, well, I got a new pair turquoise Ray-Bans. Fake, but no one can tell. My friends back home say I look so New York now and I say, Hellllllls Yeeeeahhh Boyyyyyeeeeeeee.

~Bryce Allen

Jeremiah Moss said...

that is definitely $5 million PER MONTH. i checked with the NY Post writer. not a typo.

laura said...

ok "J" when you get to the "millions" per month, you need a box drug store. fast turnover, traffic all day. or a fast food establishment. possibly a very cheap chain clothing store, huge & open till 11 pm, w/blaring music. i wonder what rents are on 5th avenue & 57th street? do you think its the same?