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Lee's Art Shop Closing This Summer After More Than 60 Years in Midtown

By Maya Rajamani | April 26, 2016 2:01pm
 Lee's Art Shop at 220 W. 57th St. will close this summer.
Lee's Art Shop at 220 W. 57th St. will close this summer.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

MIDTOWN — A decades-old art-supply store’s time in Midtown is drawing to a close.

Lee’s Art Shop — the four-story, family-owned shop at 220 W. 57th St., between Broadway and Seventh Avenue — will shutter this summer after more than 60 years in business, its chief operating officer said Tuesday.

The store is currently selling its merchandise for up to 75 percent off, signs in its windows said.

Gilbert and Ruth Steinberg, the parents of current Lee’s Art Shop owners David Steinberg and Jill Isaacs, bought the original Lee’s Art Shop across the street from 220 W. 57th St. in 1951, Jeremiah's Vanishing New York first reported.

The Steinbergs moved the store to its current location in 1975 and expanded the business after buying the building in 1995, the store's website said.

In 2014, The Real Deal reported that Thor Equities was in contract to buy the building on West 57th Street.

Both Thor Equities and the store’s owners have faced legal action over the property's sale brought by an investor who had been in talks to buy it back in 2013.

Representatives for Thor Equities did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the sale Tuesday. But the art shop’s COO, who declined to give his name, confirmed that “the building [has been] sold” in an interview at the store Tuesday.

He declined to provide additional information about the sale or when the store would officially close.

City records had not reflected the change in ownership as of Tuesday afternoon.

The owners, he said, have no current plans to move to a different location.

The Real Deal reported the building would “likely be transformed into a high-end retail box” after it changed hands.

“It’s sad,” the COO said of the sale. “We have many loyal customers that have stayed with us for a very long time.

“But they understand."