Kaufman Shoe Repair & Downtown Floor Supplies Departing Lafayette Street; New Development Rumored

Posted on: July 15th, 2014 at 5:35 am by
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To look at the corner, you would know its days are certainly numbered. After all, the northwest junction of Lafayette and Bleecker is one of the last one-story properties in the vicinity, and likely has developers drooling.

The drama unfolding at 346 Lafayette Street is seemingly but the beginning. Adjacent businesses Kaufman Shoe Repair Supplies and Downtown Floor Supplies – Lower East Side stalwarts with a combined 100 years at this location – are both departing by the end of the month. Signs placed in their doorways indicate as much.

Kaufman closes after business on August 1, and will reopen at 621 Sackett Street in Brooklyn on August 10. Downtown Floor Supplies is headed to 153 West 27th Street right around the same time.

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Coincidence? Not likely. It’s too perfect to have a pair of decades-old businesses at the same address, simultaneously shuttering out of the blue. Even the businesses agree. A rep at Downtown Floor tells us, “The Landlord ‘asked’ us both to move out. He probably wants to develop the building in the very near future, and he appears to be working in that direction.” What really happened is that both companies lost their leases.

At the moment, there are no DOB permits or sales of record, However, we can likely expect that eventually, some “thing” will grow here. Luckily this possible growth will be restricted by its inclusion in the NoHo Historic District.

Kaufman opened here 75 years ago; Downtown Floor opened here 25 years ago.

Post script: We hear that Shapiro Hardware at the corner of Bleecker might not be that far behind. This would make sense, too, as it would free up the entire corner. We’ll keep you posted.

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