Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Long-Time Smith Street Business Forced Out Because Of Huge Rent Increase

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Michael Davidov has been a fixture on Smith Street between Union and President Streets here in Carroll Gardens for 19 years, ever since he took over an existing Shoe Repair store at number 309 Smith Street. Nine years ago, he moved his business to 319 Smith Street, just a few storefronts away.

During nearly two decades on this one block, he has repaired countless shoes, zippers and bags for local residents. In 2007, he even made New York Magazine's Best Neighborhood Shoe Repair list.
Unfortunately, Davidov will most probably have to move very soon.. The building recently sold for $1,200,000, and the new landlord has informed Davidov that he will double the monthly rent.
Davidov's current $ 2,700 a month lease runs out in November '12, but he knows he won't be able to afford to stay at this location for $5,400.

In the meantime, he is trying to find a smaller storefront in the neighborhood, but does he doesn't seem very confident that he will find anything affordable.
Luckily, his son is safe at his own little shoe repair store, Joseph's, at 178 Smith Street.
If you know of a small, affordable, retail place in the neighborhood, stop by and tell Davidov about it. He would really appreciate it.

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27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh darn; where will I buy my white socks or horrible umbrellas now?

Anonymous said...

Oh, no! This is the WORST news! So many shoes and bags have been fixed here. I am so sad to hear this. Meanwhile, let's give this shop a LOT of business! They do such nice work there.

Rachel said...

I live in this building and this is the first I'm hearing about this!

Abracapocus. said...

Terrible news! The neighborhood is really changing in a way that doesn't feel so good. He's a great guy and does excellent work. He'll be missed!

Katia said...

Hi Rachel,
Did you mean you didn't know the house sold or that Michael's rent will increase dramatically after his lease runs out?
Stop by and talk to him about it.

Anonymous said...

So here we go again. Another neighborhood service gets pushed out. Someone buys a decrepit building on Smith Street no less, for over a million, and the only way they can pay for their mortage and the gut renovaton is to double the storefront's rent. I guess as long as we can get fat eating in all the restaurants and wear flip-flops instead of shoes all year round, we should be ok.

Anonymous said...

That is really a shame..but not surprising in the least. We have TONS of food and drink establishments but hardly any services...

Anonymous said...

$1.2M sounds low for a building on Smith, no?

Anonymous said...

NO! This is so sad... I've been getting my shoes fixed by him for the last 10 years. Such a shame everyone is being pushed out.

Anonymous said...

As my father used to say, "You can't close the door behind you." I try to keep that outlook- but all the small local businesses are why my then boyfriend, now husband and I fell in love with Carroll Gardens and moved here 10 years ago, and have stayed to raise a family here. It is making me incredibly sad to see another small business being forced out. It seems like a lifetime ago when no one could believe Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks would come here.

Anonymous said...

No one is forcing him out; seems like the new building owner can not afford to subsidize his operation with an artificially low rent? If he can operate a business well enough to pay the market rate rent, or had had the foresight to sign a long-term lease, he'd be welcome to stay, I'm sure.

And yes, $1.2 million is very cheap for a building on Smith; probably sold so low because of the low rent on the commercial space!

Anonymous said...

I would really hate to see Mr. Davidov leave the neighborhood. He does wonderful work.
FYI there is a vacant deli on 3rd street and Hoyt. It's been vacant for a year. Perhaps this could be a new home for him.

Anonymous said...

A business like Michaels needs Foot traffic. No pun intended. And being so close to the subway entrance is ideal. 3rd and Hoyt? Might as well be on the moon for a shoe repair. So, why didn't the tenant living above the store
Know the their building was being sold? What kind of rent hike will those people be paying? maybe Michael and Joe
Can merge. Too bad they couldn't get the space by the other subway entrance. Sorry Michael. Very unfortunate.
the frame shop space? How much did that landlord want?
That would be a decent spot.

Rob said...

Has anything even moved into the old Vintage Cellars store that closed down over a year ago?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:50 pm: Let's stop blaming the tenant for paying your so-called "artificially low rent." It wasn't artifically low when the lease was signed, and of course he's being forced out. If the shopkeeper can't pay the double rent, he has to go. I wouldn't call that a voluntary departure. Furthermore, landlords these days are not in the habit of offering long-term leases to anyone. Critics said the same thing about the frame shop on Smith/Carroll --as if it had been the shopkeeper's fault that their rent was so "artificially" low and they couldn't pay the increase. We've seen this happen time and time again in recent years to the point where it won't be long before we'll have to travel miles to get our clothing cleaned, our shoes repaired, and accomplish all those every day chores that we used to be able to do in our own neighborhood. Unfortunately, the only businesses that can pay astronomical market rate rents are restaurants, and heaven knows we've got too many of those already.

Anonymous said...

The frame shop space would be a great spot, but that out of touch landlord is asking $7500 a month.

Anonymous said...

To the white socks and horrible umbrellas comment: some of us actually take care and FIX our shoes, and this little place is one of the VERY FEW, (I count two,after this closure there will be only ONE) in our whole neighbourhood. So really, your sarcasm is way misplaced. Also: $2700.00 a month rent is so hard for a small business to carry as is, double that and many cannot survive it. You can keep your Momofukos, I'd rather have shoe repair and laundry, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

The only way this shop can pay the escalated rent is to double the prices - prices we the public pays. So higher rents actually contributes to higher costs, people - INFLATION. Everything you pay for has rental costs related to it, or cost of buying. Real estate in NYC reigns supreme.

Anonymous said...

12:14 - I totally agree. And if I wanted Momofuko around the corner, I would live in Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

2:24 - Sadly, the secret about Brooklyn is out - I now meet people who left Manhattan to come here for the better quality of life we have. Ironically, their coming with their big bucks is changing the neighborhood in ways that is not so great anymore. Loosing needed services is diminishing quality of life.

Anonymous said...

I hope he finds another spot - great guy and does excellent work. Bored with the whiners going on about yuppies. Wonder if they would prefer the area to become a favella a la Brazilian cities?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Businesses need to adapt to survive. Storefronts change...anyone know about the Banca Sessa on Union?

Our laundromats will still be here, they just might be on Sackett or Columbia or Hoyt. Shoe repair will still be here (it is ironic that the remaining shoe repair place is in a tiny storefront on DeGraw, the exact sort of place that is appropriate, not a prime storefront on Smith!), if needed. If there is a market for another frame shop (I doubt it, but you never know), someone will open another one.

It is not a shame that this guy will have to leave; it is a fact of life. You can't expect an owner to look at what happened on Smith Street and voluntarily take less than market rent.

Anonymous said...

@12:26 Who says the laundromat will survive? And a shoe repair is as essential a service. Too bad everything depends on real estate prices. In an ideal world, the shops and services people need would be protected somehow. The quality of life for all depends on this.

Anonymous said...

Such a kind, genuine man. And he does good work. Sad that people have to use the occasion to preach their tedious Darwinian economic gospel of constant adaptation or death. It's a neighborhood shoe repair store, not Apple. But thanks for covering this.

Anonymous said...

12:25 He is a kind, genuine man. One time he fixed boots (my favorite) that were past repairing. But he did it. I went back the next day and gave him a bar of my favorite chocolate. He was so gracious. Not everything in this world is about money.

tony said...

it will soon be just an empty storefront. the comment about the flip flops made me lol--sad but true.

C.G. Family isnce before St. Agnes said...

To the person who asked about the Vintage Cellars Site - It's been empty for 2 and a half years.
The building owner (who was getting an increase every year per the terms of the lease) TRIPPLED the rent when the 15 yr lease expired. The wine shop owners negotiated in good faith during the last 18 months of the lease - but landlord & merchant couldn't come to terms. The landlord "won" and the merchant moved out. Guess what ...
NOBODY rented that space, no rent was collected.
The landlord/building owner FINALLY starting working on the facade of the building (with NO permits) and is planning on his own son to open a pizza place.
I wonder how much rent the son will pay the father? I wonder why Carroll Gardens needs another Pizza Joint?
- I wonder if the landlord misses Vinatge Cellar's steady rent?