nyc BLOG estate

nyc BLOG estate

"Say No to DRUGS" store chains

Where have all the little ethnic restaurants, produce markets, take -out and bagel shops gone?

They've been forced out of business to make room for the higher paying retail tenants the drugstore chains and banks. Duane Reade, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens have become the new face of Manhattan and it's not a pretty face.

A new Walgreens is coming to the Upper West Side on Broadway between 87th and 88th Street. There already is a Duane Reade at 89th and a CVS on Amsterdam between 86th and 87th Street. There are Duane Reade's on both sides of Broadway at practically every other block.

We no longer have drug dealers on the streets now we have drug store chains on every street.

I buy paper towels and windex and aspirin even need prescriptions sometimes just like the next person - Every neigborhood should have a drug store. But how many stores selling the same junk does a neighborhood need or can tolerate?

Does every block need one? Do we need new zoning laws restricting the number of mega drugstore chains?

IMHO the bigger these stores are the worse they are. I can never find anything, I run in for something, can't find it, end up wandering through an obstacle course of aisles and always end up having to go elsewhere. They are not very crowded until you get to the cashier and then you can grow old waiting on line.

Everything is always about real estate in NYC. Because of drugstore chain competition they have driven rents up 20% - 50% more than their value.

They all want the Manhattan market and are willing to pay more for the space than it's worth. They force out great restaurants, and bagel shops, produce and flower markets all the things that New Yorkers love that make a neighborhood great.

Many Manhattanites live in coops, they can choose their neighbors, should they be able to choose the retail flavor of their communities too? Drugstore-covered streets are not popular with many New Yorkers.

Drugstore chains might not hurt a neighborhood but they add nothing to it. They are big and ugly. They turn a vibrant street that once had people waiting to get into a good restaurant or shopping at the 24 hour local market into a block of neon and fluorescent lights with tacky window displays. They suck the life out of a once vibrant block.

They don't even stay open 24 hours. What ever happened to the city that never sleeps?

Eventually many of these stores will close, I've seen over expansion before. I lived here in the 80's and 90's too. Back then at least there were interesting trendy innovative places that would come and go.


  1. And where is WalMart? They used to be known as a small town retailer. Are they in NYC yet?

  2. No Walmarts yet. They have tried to enter the market. They had a store planned for Brooklyn that was nixed.

  3. re: walmart - those darn unions!


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