Report: Rent Increase Forcing Out Army Navy Store on East Houston

Posted on: August 28th, 2013 at 5:38 am by
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It’s a hidden gem in plain sight, but not for much longer.

We’ve darkened the doors of Army & Navy Bags umpteen times throughout the years, usually for random odds and ends (gloves, bags, costumes, etc). It’s just so reliable in its simplicity and affordable price points. However, in the new Lower East Side, there’s no room for such utility. After all, there’s no gimmick to help pander to the masses. Seriously. Today brings word that its tenure at 177 East Houston is concluding … after four decades in business.

A Boogie birdie tells us that the landlord allegedly visited the surplus store this week, bodyguards in tow, to relay news of a more than twofold increase in rent. And that if ownership can’t afford the new rate, the store must be out by the end of the month.

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Just check out their Yelp business page – 5 star rating. Reviews gush about the great selection, prices, and friendly management. Case in point:

Yes, the store is small but the selection is surprisingly good and the service and prices can’t be beat. Skip the places that inflate their prices to make you feel like you’re getting an awesome deal at a special “sale” price. The prices at Army & Navy bags are fair every day, without a “discount.” Another positive point is the lack of creepy salespeople. Henry is super nice and will answer a million questions or let you look all day, whichever you prefer. I just hope this place doesn’t get squeezed out of the neighborhood by trendy doughnut shops. Skip the doughnuts and buy a bag.

And another commenter all but verified the news:

If this place has to shut it’s doors due to skyrocketing rent I will be pissed. As if the area hasn’t changed enough. I remember coming in here before I moved to New York as a teenager in the early 2000’s and this place always had really inexpensive deals on army surplus goods. First of all, where else can I walk into during the pouring summer rain to get a tiger striped camo bucket hat for $12? Nowhere.

177 East Houston is owned by Serge Hoyda, a familiar face who is concurrently involved in the drama with the Children’s Magical Garden.

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