Dyckman Street Designer to Close Shop After Rent Hike

By Carla Zanoni on March 20, 2012 7:50am 

INWOOD — When entrepreneur and clothing designer Jason Devereaux opened his store Nostylgia on Dyckman Street seven years ago, he considered himself a pioneer.

The area of Dyckman Street west of Broadway was a littered, desolate stretch of Inwood in 2005. Nobody could imagine the store would became a purveyor of Americana clothing, tea and chess.

“We were here even before Mamajuana,” he said, referring to the successful and citywide-known Dominican restaurant and lounge next door, which helped pave the way toward Dyckman Street becoming a bustling uptown hub.

Despite the success of the block, or perhaps because of it, Devereaux said he would be unable to keep his doors open at 251 Dyckman St. after March 31.

Devereaux said he failed to negotiate a new lease with his landlord after he could not come up with the $30,000 in "key money" his landlord required to renew the lease on his store.

“It’s disappointing, but I’m fine,” Devereaux said of the loss. “I’m a business person and this is the way business is run, you have to pay market rate value.”

According to Lawrence Longua, clinical associate professor at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, such negotiations are legal between a tenant and commercial landlord. 

Representatives for Parkoff Management Company, the building landlord, did not return calls for comment.

For the time being, Devereaux said he plans to focus his attention on completing his "collection of tailored menswear," which is made and designed in New York City and expected to be sold worldwide by the end of the year.

In addition to his international aims, Devereaux said he also hopes to broach new ventures uptown.

“I wouldn’t want to leave and go to another neighborhood,” he told DNAinfo. “When I was in business school I was just about numbers and not feelings, but emotions got in here somehow.”

Devereaux said watching his store mature from a sneaker shop to his own clothing line, a modern take on traditional American clothing, which allowed him to experience the growth of the neighborhood through the eyes of clients.

The Dyckman Street clothing store Nostylgia plans to close March 31 after failing to renew its lease.
The Dyckman Street clothing store Nostylgia plans to close March 31 after failing to renew its lease.
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DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni

"The kid I have running my shop now started shopping here when he was 13," he said. “Being here showed him and others that they can be different, they’re so much more open to art and culture than before.”

With that in mind, Devereaux said he is committed to finding a new way to operate in the neighborhood, whether it’s a pop up store nearby for the summer or working with other local establishments to keep his unique style uptown.

"We’ll be back," he said. "We may have lost this battle, but we’ll be back."

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