Bleecker Street Records May Close After Lease Expires

By Andrea Swalec on January 16, 2013 6:50am 

GREENWICH VILLAGE — A record shop where audiophiles have flipped through bins of vinyl for more than 20 years may soon close.

Bleecker Street Records' 239 Bleecker St. location near Sixth Avenue will soon be available for lease, according to the property agent.

The 3,800-square-foot space currently stuffed with records and CDs will be available for $27,000 per month starting in April, Jeremy Ezra, an agent with the retail brokerage RKF, said Tuesday.

"There's been significant interest [in the space]," Ezra said. "There have been all sorts of uses [proposed] there, from fashion to food."

A property listing on RKF's website shows a drawing of the storefront with a sign reading, "Good Property," and touts L'Occitane, David's Tea and Amy's Bread as its neighbors. 

But workers at Bleecker Street Records said there's still a chance the store could remain at its current location. The owner, who did not immediately respond to an inquiry, is currently deciding whether he will renew the lease with a large rent hike or seek another location in the city, workers said.

They declined to provide the current rent amount.

Asked if the record store would possibly remain in the location and the space would go off the market, Ezra said there was "no chance."

City property records show a buyer using the name 239 Bleecker Partners LLC purchased the entire landmarked building, which has apartments on the upper floors, in January 2012 for $3.95 million.

Bleecker Street Records employee Dino Hallas touted the "richness" of records compared to CDs and MP3s, and struck down the notion that consumers had lost interest in vinyl.

"It's all lies that there's no market for records anymore," he said. "It's just the leases. Landlords just want to get paid."

Customer Charlie Frohne, 30, said Bleecker Street Records' selection of classic punk and reggae records has brought him into the store every month for the past four years.

"Record stores disappear and it's really disappointing," he said. "This feels like part of New York."

Another longtime Greenwich Village record store, Bleecker Bob's Golden Oldies, announced in December that it would close because of a rent increase. The landlord for the West 3rd Street space told DNAinfo.com New York that potential tenants have included restaurants, bars and a coffee chain. 

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