Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Little Old New York: Take Advantage of This Small Opportunity!

Focus in on the lower half of the photograph. That's your floor space. 

By Mitch Broder

If you’ve always dreamed of opening up a little shop in Manhattan, act now. Make a deal, and you could be opening up the littlest.

Well, not quite the littlest. Here and there in the city are umbrella-hawkers and palm-readers operating in recesses barely big enough for an umbrella or a palm. But 184 Seventh Avenue South is just elbow room beyond those. It’s little enough to be manageable, yet big enough to sleep one.

Aaron Gavios of Square Foot Realty says that a lease is out on the store, but he also says that a lot of leases have been out on the store. It’s been available for a couple of years. It’s a tricky place to rent. It’s 10 feet by 15 feet. Bed Bath and Beyond has not expressed interest.

No one with a lot of money has expressed interest. No one with a little money has evoked interest. The rent is $2,800, and the landlord reportedly doesn’t deal much. The next-door neighbor is a place called Fantasy World, whose name may be a warning.

But you could succeed. Others have. You just have to think things through, like the last occupant, the Oz Moving Depot. They sold boxes for moving, and people around here are always moving. The boxes, of course, were folded. Otherwise the store would have lasted four days.

There are other possibilities, Aaron says: “It could be very good for an ice-cream store.” That’s true. People around here are always eating ice cream. You just need an ice-cream counter, an ice-cream scooper (that would be you), and enough wall space for a flavor list, which will undoubtedly be short.

Aaron alternately envisions “a shoe store, a clothing boutique, a candy store, or a convenience store — there is good foot traffic there.” He doesn’t suggest an umbrella-hawker or a palm-reader, perhaps because those are the other next-door neighbors.

Think it over, but not too long, lest someone else grab your 150 square feet. Aaron says you could make a pile, though you’d have to store it elsewhere.

“I’ve seen people do $5 million a year in 800 square feet,” he says. That means about a mil for you. Minus $8 for your Con Ed bill.

You get the scaffolding at no extra charge.

Size up your new store at 184 Seventh Avenue South, near West 11th Street, in Manhattan.


  1. OMG...I love this! Just trying to think of what business to open. If only GURU's SNOWBALLs would come back! (And how weird is this -- I was stuck behind an Oz Moving & Storage truck tonight. I'd never heard of them before.)

  2. What is a GURU's SNOWBALL?

  3. You would think Oz would have somehow been able to magically transform the space into a glorious wonderland. Guess the wizard is back in Kansas.
    I think a fortune teller might have luck there.

  4. OK, now I know what a snowball is but now I'm on to the next wonder...I wonder if you've given any thought to possibly opening up a small writer's workshop in that spot? You could set up a small table and put a sign, sort of "Lucy-like" in a the time that you're not using the space you could sublet it to perhaps a street artist who would like a little spot...just a thought ~