Is TD Bank Coming to Former Barnes & Noble Space at Sixth Avenue? With a new CitiBank On the Way Across the Street

Updated
After yesterday’s post, What Does it Take for a Business to Survive in Today’s Greenwich Village?, I got a note this morning from a reader, Tim, who wrote re: “B&N Spot 8th and 6th”:

Saw a public notice in Times that TD Bank will open on that hallowed corner. Feh.

It does make sense that a bank is one of the few entities that could afford more rent than, say, Barnes & Noble, tho’ I was imagining a chain restaurant coming like Heartland Brewery which I could have dealt with or something like McDonald’s (that would be bad) …  I’m not sure what is worse. A bank is pretty bad especially because that building has a large presence bordering two streets (Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street) and TD Bank is so unpleasantly larger-than-life already, glassy and green.

I went back to read the original article by Roger Friedman at Showbiz411 that had alerted me to Barnes & Noble closing back in November 2012 and saw in the later comments that the assistant manager of that Barnes & Noble space had commented stating that it wasn’t that they weren’t making it in that Sixth Avenue location, the issue was that there was a “HUGE rent hike.” That somehow makes it so much worse.

Former Assistant Manager Donald Kemp wrote, “My little store on the corner of 6th ave and 8th St was a special place. It was an old strange place with nook and crannies that we tried to fill with honor.”

Maybe Donald was the person who left the sign “Closed Forever” on the old Barnes & Noble door after they closed on New Year’s Eve 2012 (it was eventually changed):

Around that time, a commenter here, Richard, recalled some of the history of the building:

Yes, that used to be Nathan’s. I hasten to add it was not the sterile fast-food franchise version of Nathan’s you’ll find in malls and food courts today, but a real honest-to-goodness full-fledged branch of Nathan’s equal to the Coney Island original. That was my favorite place when I first moved to the Village in 1973. (There was another branch in Times Square as well.) As you might be able to guess, I’ve never quite gotten over losing it! But even my Nathan’s was an interloper on that corner; before that it was Nedick’s, a chain virtually forgotten now but once every bit as ubiquitous as Starbucks is today. Nedick’s was at that location for many years, perhaps decades, and I’ve heard some old former hippies complain that when it closed they blamed Nathan’s for taking away a favorite local hangout.

Also, the location was a B. Dalton bookstore (number of years?) when Barnes & Noble took it over.

Now it’s looking like it’ll be a TD Bank. The history of the building definitely is continuing a downhill trajectory.

At least, the Barnes & Noble maintained the ‘bones’ of the building. TD Banks all look glassy, bright green, shiny, corporate, and … the same.

And then, continuing on the theme of corporate entities-infringing-on-the-Village, CitiBank is coming on the other side of Sixth Avenue. This actually compounds the impact of the TD Bank news (still to be confirmed but seems pretty likely).


At least, Barnes & Noble sold BOOKS.

*   *   *

Previously at WSP Blog:

Barnes & Noble 8th Street Closing November 30, 2012

All photos: Cathryn
Except Top Photo: Showbiz 411 (Note – TD Bank Modifications via this blog)

12 thoughts on “Is TD Bank Coming to Former Barnes & Noble Space at Sixth Avenue? With a new CitiBank On the Way Across the Street

  1. Say it ain’t so! Who needs another bank? Even McDonald’s would be better. That “rent-is-too-damn-high” guy was onto something.

    While I agree that the new Citibank across 6th Ave. exacerbates the problem, that site was for years an Emigrant Savings Bank branch (which I think moved down 6th Ave. to 10 Downing St.)

    Also, the CVS at Carmine and 6th closed, moving to a larger space on 6th just below Waverly, literally TWO DOORS away from Duane Reade…..

  2. So true re: “rent-is-too-damn-high” guy! He needs to focus on commercial rent now.

    I was trying to remember what was there at forthcoming CitiBank space, and, right, it was an Emigrant Savings. But that’s more of an independent bank, doesn’t seem *as” bad.

    I’m surprised B&N space didn’t end up being a Duane Reade or CVS… but I guess they are set now. That is pretty incredible re: CVS location!

    We’ll see re: B&N space. I need to look up the landlord info.

    Cathryn

  3. Hi Cathryn, this is a great blog about the history of Greenwich. We have just signed the lease for the formerly hat space right next to the papaya, and have always wonder who is the new tenant for that b&n space (it is rented according to my research). A national bank certainly looks like one of the few tenants that can afford such exorbitant rent. As for our space, we are setting it up as a bubble tea cafe/lounge with snacks, and seating capacity for about 15-20. It is our goal to provide great drinks/snacks with impeccable customer service and experience at a very affordable price. We would like to hear from you and other readers of this blog as to the type of layout (larger tables for 6, or smaller round tables), lighting (darker or brighter), and other furniture (chairs, stools, or sofas) that we should put in the store. We would like to turn the space into a gathering spot for friends and students, although our seating capacity is quite limited. It should still be far better than other crowded bubble tea spots with barely any seating. Any other comments and suggestions are highly appreciated. Interior renovation should commence within the next month.

  4. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for writing and for giving the update on your space. And thanks for your nice comments about this blog.

    It was just confirmed today that it is definitely TD Bank coming. That hat store (previous tenant of your upcoming location) was very unique but seemed like it would probably be a hard business to keep going in today’s market. Let me think a bit on your questions – and I’ll write again.

    Thanks for checking out the blog & best of luck!

    Cathryn

  5. Here’s a thought for the folks in the old hat space: nothing with a name/label we’d recognize. So much is the same everywhere. The old 8th St. (and old Village) was unique because unique things were offered, from the practical to the bizarre. Hand made leather stuff, books that only Wilentz would sell, acts only the Cookery would book, lava lamps and bumper stickers that only Postermat would sell, movies that only the Art or 8th St. Playhouse would screen, paintings only the Whitney would hang. (That’s ALL on ONE f—ing street!) Sure there were chains (Barton’s, Zum Zum, Azuma, Orange Julius). But you came to the Village for what you couldn’t get anywhere else. Now you can get the same artisan goat cheese across the country. Simply, make your spot something unique. It is on you to come up with a concept, décor, menu etc. But regardless, it was always the people that the Village attracted that made it what it was/is. Thanks for letting me share.

  6. Cathryn,

    A bank is a disappointing use for the space, but I am taken aback by your notion of a good one!

    Another bar restaurant? Is “what it takes for business to survive” is to further accelerate the transformation of our neighborhood into a Bourbon Street style tourist trap where day trippers come to drink and act out and be destructive before going back to the peaceful streets of their own quiet homes? How is this vision of the business future to co-exist with the residential? This is a “we have to kill it to save it” approach to the Village that differs from Moses-style redevelopment only superficially. Mixed-use requires compatible uses. The great proliferation of drinking establishments in formerly retail spaces on my GV block has had substantial and almost entirely negative impacts on residential quality of life and habitability.

    Fortunately, there is an alternative. Spaces like the old B&N building could be used for retail that attracted shoppers. Magnet retail would bring a different kind of foot traffic, the kind that brought customers for the existing, struggling, restaurants and for smaller shops.

    That B&N will now be a bank is a missed opportunity in a key location for this. But I’ll take TD Bank over Heartland Brewery in a heartbeat.

  7. Hi Cormac,

    Thanks for your comment and thoughts. When I was writing that, I thought that would be one of a few type businesses that *could* make it there – that could utilize that type and size space and wouldn’t be entirely offensive. To me, at least. But then again, the Union Square Heartland Brewery is closing with their rent being outrageously increased, so maybe that would not have worked out anyway!

    What would “magnet retail” look like?

    Thanks for your comment.

    best,
    Cathryn

  8. Hi Phil from Bubble Tea –

    Sorry I didn’t write back sooner but I did agree with Tim’s comments. Last time I walked by, I saw your signage up but I haven’t walked by since. Hope it’s going well & thanks for your interest in knowing what people would like for that space.

    I could see why the hat space didn’t make it but it was very nice there; unique.

    Good luck –

    Cathryn

  9. Hey Cathryn,

    Know this blog is nearly two years old but I’m digging around and was wondering if you have any updates on this space? Any idea who owns the property or how far long TD Bank is in the process of opening?

    Appreciate any insight you can provide!
    Nina

  10. Hi Nina,

    Thanks for writing! I wrote earlier this year about what happened when I contacted TD Bank about the space:

    http://www.washingtonsquareparkblog.com/2015/04/28/greenwich-village-former-barnes-noble-will-not-be-td-bank/

    They were very vague, to say the least. They would not admit they were no longer using the building and I later read that they may actually still be paying rent (not certain if that information was confirmed) but they did not reveal much when I reached out to them – except to say that right now they are not using the space and did not have plans to, as of April.

    As far as who owns the building, I am trying to remember if there was a For Lease sign posted in one of the posts I wrote on this which might have contact info – or have you tried Property Shark?

    Good luck!

    Cathryn

    • Appreciate the prompt reply, Cathryn.

      I’ll try to look on Property Shark for any info. Thanks for your insight & helpful articles!

      Best,
      Nina

  11. Sure, Nina. I hope you found something out and, if you end up using the space for something or there is a story there, think of me! Thanks!

    best,
    Cathryn

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