Licensed New York City real estate broker

Bond New York in the press

For all press inquiries please contact Kelly Kreth, Kreth Communications, 201 417 8691,

Village Smoke Shops, Tattoo Joints Joined by Fancier Neighbors

08/01/2012, By


Village Smoke Shops, Tattoo Joints Joined by Fancier Neighbors Updated August 1, 2012 8:49am

Alexis Castillo-Quezada Alexis Castillo-Quezada, manager of La Vid Wine & Spirits on 315 Sixth Ave. and West 3rd Street, said customers have noted a shift in the type of stores opening on the block. (DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec)

WEST VILLAGE — A stretch of Sixth Avenue in the West Village once known for porn stores, smoke shops and tattooparlors is becoming home to a host of upscale businesses.

While fancy restaurants and boutiques have always been a part of the Village retail scene, a new collection of stores opening near the busy West 4th Street train station on Sixth Avenue are aiming for a clientele that would sooner buy a bottle of Chardonnay or a chocolate mousse than a new glass pipe or rolling papers.

“The smoke shops and those kinds of places will probably diminish as times go on because rents are so high and they won’t be able to afford that,” said April Summars, senior vice president of retail leasing at New York Commercial Real Estate Services.

La Vid Wine & Spirits La Vid Wine & Spirits opened in May, sandwiched between sex shops and tattoo parlors. (DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec)

Summars, who has been in commercial real estate for four years, said an aspiring proprietor could find space for less than $100 a square foot in the area several years ago. Now, she said rent could be around $150 a square foot, but has seen prices reach at least double that amount.

“I don’t think they can do that kind of volume,” she said, referring to the usual Sixth Avenue retail fair. “That’s a lot of tattoos.”

Alexis Castillo-Quezada, a Peru-born sommelier and manager of La Vid on 315 Sixth Ave., said customers have noticed the area’s shift in retail options. The store opened in May, where a Subway sandwich franchise once operated.

“It's definitely something different than what's been on this block and people keep stopping in to tell us that," he said.

A few doors down from La Vid is Fay Da Bakery, popular chain offering Chinese treats that opened up a West Village location at 321 Sixth Ave. this year.

Joseph Robinson, vice president of Bond New York, which handled the Fay Da Bakery deal, said the company wanted to tap into the foot traffic that spills out of the West 4th Street train station.

“It’s still is an area, at night, that has a little bit of that roughness,” Robinson said. “But what they saw — what we’re all seeing — is that there are more tourists and more people shuffling through there to get places [elsewhere] in the West Side.”

William Kelley, executive director of Village Alliance, a business improvement district, said he has seen tattoo parlors and gift shops make way for new restaurants like Soto and Joy Burger Bar, both on Sixth Avenue between West 4th Street and Washington Place.

“You see a natural progression of business types” as commercial rent increases, Kelley said. “This area [of Sixth Avenue] has been one of the last to change, but it’s happening as well.”

Read more:

Union Square
853 Broadway, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10003
Columbus Circle
1776 Broadway, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10019
Upper East Side
1500 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10075
64 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
Corporate HQ
1776 Broadway, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Like BOND New York on Facebook Follow BOND New York on Twitter Read BOND New York's Blog Plus One BOND New York on Google Join BOND New York on LinkedIn View BOND New York's photos on Instagram View BOND New York's photos on Pinterest
- Equal Housing Oppurtunity -
Real Estate Website by RealtyMX™

Know your New York City neighborhoods.

Part of choosing a new NYC apartment, condo, coop, or house is to choose the right location that suits you best. Every NYC neighborhood is like its own world with each having its own particular features and peculiarities. In New York City, you have a tremendously broad choice of these individually unique areas to live in, so we suggest that you pay attention to the details of each NYC neighborhood. Use our New York neighborhood guide for location information, area descriptions, and more.

Bond New York is the bond between you and your next home.

Get to know us -- and we'll get you to know the best deals for Manhattan & NYC apartments, the New York City real estate market, and most importantly, your new home. Read about us, our agent and management profiles, and press articles to understand how professionally committed and dedicated we are to the industry and to our clients and customers.

All information presented on this site regarding real property, for sale, purchase, rental and/or financing is from sources deemed reliable. No warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy thereof and same is submitted subject to errors, omissions, change of price, rentals or other conditions, prior sale, lease or financing or withdrawal without notice. Note: All dimensions and square footage are approximate for the most exact dimensions and square footage please hire your own architect or engineer.