Nolita Merchants Association Challenges Gawker

Posted on: October 29th, 2009 at 6:10 am by

The following open letter to Gawker was emailed to us from the NoLita Merchants Association.  It is a play-by-play challenge of the Recession Map which was originally published on Gawker just last week.  What are all of you seeing out there?  Send us your thoughts!

500x_custom_1256243024484_TEMP-Image_1_1[photo via Gawker]

Sooo Sad, Sooo Wrong.

The “Nolita Sad Map” posted by Gawker and picked up by numerous other blogs was interesting, but something is just plain wrong here. I did not pick this up myself, but read through the comments on Gawker and noticed that someone posted a comment, that “Cafe Colonial is having a sale?”  And sure enough, i saw the corner building on SE Elizabeth/Houston as yellow.  That didn’t make sense since Café Colonial is a popular restaurant.  So a closer look was needed, so here are some further mistakes found…

This is no exhaustive list, but it does give an indication that the thesis of the article – a downward trend in retail has hit Nolita – is simply false. It is the opposite of reality.  Nolita has in fact become home to many, many new businesses in the recent past.

Elizabeth St from Houston to Prince:

Terra Planna has left a smaller spot and moved into much bigger digs on the same block (the old Cadeau location).  Just down the street we have relative newcomers: Ananas, Hayden Harnett, Haus Interiors,  OmeForever and babel fair.

Crossing prince towards Spring:  Helloooo VINCE.   Brand new retail in Nolita.  On the east side, Lovely Day is indicated red as closed.  Red may be appropriate as the entire building had a DOB vacate order due to a fire that happened just over one year ago.   However, last week the full vacate was changed to a partial vacate and Lovely Day will be open in early November.

Also, new to this block is Portia & Manny (welcomed from the lower east side, Go Manny, Go Manny, Go Manny, Go).

Cross Spring towards Kenmare:  Frock has opened as have a JF Son in the corner spot.  Both new fashion retail that has opened in past few months.

So, on Elizabeth from Houston to Kenmare, there are a few spots looking for tenants, but within the past six months or so, there have been 9 new retailers opened just on this three block length of Elizabeth Street in Nolita.

How about Spring Street???

The map indicates two red (EMPTY) locations on South Side of Spring bw Elizabeth and Mott.  This entire block is chock-a-block for retail business from barmarche and Room 18 to Bread, gallerynine5 and Spring Mart.

The corner of Spring and Mott has Jaeyoon Jeong, a new fashion retailer.

Mott Street?

New businesses abound from the Organice Ice Cream Factory on one side of Mott between Spring and Kenmare to the Raw Juice bar on the other side of Mott to the new outpost of White on White Eco Dry cleaners.  Down the street is new shoe retailer, Kathryn Amberleigh.

Prince Street?

In the old Mekong is the third spot for local designer/retailer Roni.

There should be no (EMPTY) red spot on the north side of Prince from Elizabeth to the Bowery, as  you have eleven, to Red Flower to Henry Lehr to the new home of everyone’s favorite african giraffe source.

Though, on the SW corner of prince / Bowery (south west), the red spot is accurate, and this is just indicative of the healthy economy in Nolita, the landlord is seeking to convert this spot from the old restaurant supply spot to a nolita type retail biz.

Why would a landlord do this?  Because Northern Little Italy is growing, not sad!

New businesses?  How about just these 6 new restaurants:

Cafe Select, civetta, travertine, emporio, the mott, and my personal favorite, the national

There are 3 other restaurants under construction on Mulberry from just above the NE corner of Mulberry/Spring to SW corner of Mulberry/Kenmare.

Don’t want a full meal, how about La Crepe Parisienne just opened across from the Shark Bar or the macbar, next to the Deli on Lafayette and Prince.

There are even new hotels popping up around the neighborhood including Veracity’s long-anticipated Nolitama on Kenmare and Elizabeth.

Sad?  No, healthy and glad.  Nolita is an active, healthy neighborhood with  new businesses opening every month.

In fact some local retailers are expanding while flourishing with a Nolita flagship store such as Duncan Quinn (outposts already in California and Texas) and Anya Ponorovskaya’s GirlCAT (outpost in Brooklyn),  are both getting ready to open new locations in the fashionable Miami Design District.

So, Gawker, come on back to Nolita, let’s have a lunch date and really see all the new businesses continuing to pop up and flourish in this exceedingly livable, workable neighborhood, Northern Little Italy.

Or come by this Saturday for the Green Halloween Festival happening in Desalvio Playground and on Spring between Mulberry & Mott.

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