‘City Hats’ Relocating to East Houston Ahead of Bleecker Street Redevelopment
All commercial retail is being liquidated from the northwest corner of Bleecker and Lafayette Streets, as redevelopment looms.
A week after our report about the imminent relocation of Shapiro Hardware, its neighbor faces the same fate. City Hats at 63 Bleecker Street is moving operations just a few blocks south to Houston. They’ve recently inked a lease for half of the former consignment shop, 2nd Time Around (55 East Houston).
City Hats is an independent mom-and-pop operation that opened an outpost here in 2010.
These two recent moves are part of a larger undertaking for the corner parcel, and years in the making. Back in July 2014, its immediate neighbors Kaufman Shoe Repair Supplies and Downtown Floor Supplies – area stalwarts with a combined 100 years at this location – relocated elsewhere in the city, stoking fears of more luxury construction. It later came out that a nine-story development was positioning itself here. That never materialized, though. Instead, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved plans by architects Beyer Blinder Belle to restore the existing building at 59 Bleecker, but also replace the non-original “garage” section with a one-story structure that includes alluminum and glass storefronts, plus fixtures for a “bracket sign” (homage to the old).
The building at 59 Bleecker was first constructed in 1921, and housed both a car service station and liquor store (at the same time). The structure was modified roughly sixty years later to include a second contiguous building. Landmark protections arrived in 1999 courtesy of the NoHo Historic District.