Back in the spring, it seemed as though Davidov was going to be forced to close his shop. The
building housing his business was sold recently and the new landlord informed Davidov that he would increase the rent from $2,700 a month to $5,000 a month once the current lease expires in November '12.
Though it is a significant jump in rent for a small business like his, Davidov decided to sign a ten year lease and to stay put. After all, he 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 on the same block.
During nearly two decades in the neighborhood, 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.
I stopped by Michael's Shoe Repair Shop on Friday to tell Davidov how glad I was that he was staying in the neighborhood. He smiled, obviously relieved that he had signed the new lease, even if it means his rent has gone up significantly. "What can I do?" he asked, shrugging his shoulders.