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(Gothamist)   OG hipster cafe in Brooklyn to close after 15 years due to 70 percent increase in rent. Employee speculates landlord wants to "gouge some naive entrepreneurs for their life savings, and they'll close in a year and a half"   (gothamist.com) divider line 91
    More: Obvious, anchormen, verbs, Williamsburg, Kyp Malone, entrepreneurs, cafes, fifth street  
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2581 clicks; posted to Business » on 08 Jun 2014 at 2:50 PM (6 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-08 12:54:00 PM
That was such a stupid article I'm almost ready to celebrate the demise of a self-described grungy place that hipsters - that couldn't afford the better coffee at the other shop around the corner - hung out at.

I'm sorry, was something about this supposed to bring out some sympathy?
 
2014-06-08 01:21:40 PM
Original Gangster hipster cafe?
 
2014-06-08 02:57:07 PM
Did hipsters exist fifteen years ago? Or are they a crossbreed hipster strain filtered through the emo gene stream?
 
2014-06-08 03:00:39 PM

rjakobi: Did hipsters exist fifteen years ago? Or are they a crossbreed hipster strain filtered through the emo gene stream?


Yes, they did. They just dressed differently back then. They were still obsessed with being into things "before you came along and ruined them." And they hated everything you liked, because in their feeble  minds it put them above you.
 
2014-06-08 03:04:54 PM

GreenAdder: rjakobi: Did hipsters exist fifteen years ago? Or are they a crossbreed hipster strain filtered through the emo gene stream?

Yes, they did. They just dressed differently back then. They were still obsessed with being into things "before you came along and ruined them." And they hated everything you liked, because in their feeble  minds it put them above you.


I was hating hipsters long before it became trendy to hate hipsters.
 
2014-06-08 03:15:53 PM
If it is like most restaurants them lasting 18 months is optimistic. A large number don't make it that long before they are broke.
 
2014-06-08 03:26:19 PM
I always get a little warm tingly feeling in my heart when I see commercial landlords do this to well established businesses, only to have the space sit empty for long periods of time because nobody wants to pay the new higher rent. I dunno if that happens in Williamsburg too much, but it seems to in a lot of other places I have lived.
 
2014-06-08 03:28:38 PM

whither_apophis: GreenAdder: rjakobi: Did hipsters exist fifteen years ago? Or are they a crossbreed hipster strain filtered through the emo gene stream?

Yes, they did. They just dressed differently back then. They were still obsessed with being into things "before you came along and ruined them." And they hated everything you liked, because in their feeble  minds it put them above you.

I was hating hipsters long before it became trendy to hate hipsters.


So was I.  We should hang out at this cheap coffee shop around the corner and compare notes.  You probably haven't heard of it but they've been there for fifteen years.
 
2014-06-08 03:30:22 PM
i970.photobucket.com
 
2014-06-08 03:39:20 PM
www.a2review.net

Gentrification!
 
2014-06-08 03:39:26 PM

buzzcut73: I always get a little warm tingly feeling in my heart when I see commercial landlords do this to well established businesses, only to have the space sit empty for long periods of time because nobody wants to pay the new higher rent. I dunno if that happens in Williamsburg too much, but it seems to in a lot of other places I have lived.


Generally happens with "investment" owners/ or when kids inherit the family business without ever having worked in it. Vacancy is always the biggest cost for rental property that hits twice on revenue and carrying costs that would otherwise be paid by the tenant.

Those new to real estate investing generally set the price and expect the money to flow in without doing all the research on what the impact of said price will do to the vacancy rate.

And not of this includes the potential damage the can be caused by turnover and kicking out a performing tenant for a new venture increases the likelyhood of that happening as well.
 
2014-06-08 03:44:14 PM
SecretAgentWoman:
I'm sorry, was something about this supposed to bring out some sympathy?

The fact neither the author nor the editor nor the proofreader knew how to  spell "Williamsburg"?
 
2014-06-08 03:50:10 PM

Sliding Carp: SecretAgentWoman:
I'm sorry, was something about this supposed to bring out some sympathy?

The fact neither the author nor the editor nor the proofreader knew how to  spell "Williamsburg"?


It's the underground way to spell it, but you probably do t know that.
 
2014-06-08 03:55:54 PM
If you don't own the property, no matter how well your restaurant does and for how long, and paid your rent on time, they will still fark you in the end.

It has happened a lot around here.

/seems like a gamble on how much you can pocket during the good times and how long you can make the good times last.
//Is that enough dosh to retire in Lake Havasu or Florida?
 
2014-06-08 04:07:04 PM
I have it on good authority that Woodside Queens is the new Williamsburg.
 
2014-06-08 04:47:04 PM

Saborlas: [i970.photobucket.com image 750x627]


Jane Child was doing that before hipsters were and she is most certainly NOT hipster.

content5.catalog.photos.msn.com
 
2014-06-08 04:53:28 PM

buzzcut73: I always get a little warm tingly feeling in my heart when I see commercial landlords do this to well established businesses, only to have the space sit empty for long periods of time because nobody wants to pay the new higher rent. I dunno if that happens in Williamsburg too much, but it seems to in a lot of other places I have lived.


A bar I liked got closed down this way. There's some kind of sushi restaurant there now. I will never set foot in the place, and neither will a lot of other people. Fark the greedy landlord.
 
2014-06-08 05:05:11 PM
I have to admit I found the outrage of Brooklyn rent prices by a certain mega hipster/EiC of a very well known tech blog to be amusing, seeing as he's the one that's driving the price up.
 
2014-06-08 05:05:29 PM
I have seen this sort of rent increase a lot near where I live and businesses that have been neighborhood fixtures forced out and then a shuttered store to follow.  It seems there really are a lot of people who would rather have a empty storefront and no money coming in then have a reasonable rent for the established business and I just don't get it at all.  I am not saying businesses shouldn't be paying a reasonable rent, but that a lot of investors seem to price themselves out of the market and then the whole area suffers as they have abandoned storefronts instead of businesses.
 
2014-06-08 05:16:31 PM

buzzcut73: only to have the space sit empty for long periods of tim


It happened to a really popular pizza place here in Chicago. The space sat empty for over 4 years. A space in a primo location, where other spaces just down the block or a couple blocks away would be vacant for two months tops before a sign announcing some new business as coming soon came up.
 
2014-06-08 05:34:36 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: Saborlas: [i970.photobucket.com image 750x627]

Jane Child was doing that before hipsters were and she is most certainly NOT hipster.

[content5.catalog.photos.msn.com image 502x750]


Pretty woman, horrible hair.
 
2014-06-08 05:39:32 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Because People in power are Stupid: Saborlas: [i970.photobucket.com image 750x627]

Jane Child was doing that before hipsters were and she is most certainly NOT hipster.

[content5.catalog.photos.msn.com image 502x750]

Pretty woman, horrible hair.


Hey man, it was the '80s (or maybe pre-Clinton '90s). We all had bad hair then.
 
2014-06-08 05:42:58 PM

listernine: Sliding Carp: SecretAgentWoman:
I'm sorry, was something about this supposed to bring out some sympathy?

The fact neither the author nor the editor nor the proofreader knew how to  spell "Williamsburg"?

It's the underground way to spell it, but you probably do t know that.


To my credit, I did wonder for a while if it was supposed to be ironic.
 
2014-06-08 06:05:04 PM

zimbach: Satanic_Hamster: Because People in power are Stupid: Saborlas: [i970.photobucket.com image 750x627]

Jane Child was doing that before hipsters were and she is most certainly NOT hipster.

[content5.catalog.photos.msn.com image 502x750]

Pretty woman, horrible hair.

Hey man, it was the '80s (or maybe pre-Clinton '90s). We all had bad hair then.


It looks like she was thinking of two completely different styles and then said "fark it" and did half in one, half in another.
 
2014-06-08 06:10:15 PM

rjakobi: Did hipsters exist fifteen years ago? Or are they a crossbreed hipster strain filtered through the emo gene stream?


Grunge.
 
2014-06-08 06:40:41 PM
Well, if they are paying the same rent they paid when they opened in 1999, it's due for an increase.
 
2014-06-08 07:01:39 PM
Well at least he identified the fact that you have to be very naive to think your landlord is in the business of charging below market rent to hipsters.
 
2014-06-08 07:41:35 PM
img.rp.vhd.me
 
2014-06-08 07:51:58 PM

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Well, if they are paying the same rent they paid when they opened in 1999, it's due for an increase.


The article doesn't answer that, but it'd be dumb for a landlord to keep rent flat for 15 years then slap on a 70% increase unless you want the tenant gone.  A low to mid single digit increase every year or two or three would be the better way to go.
 
2014-06-08 08:15:31 PM
"gouge some naive entrepreneurs for their life savings, and they'll close in a year and a half"

Are you speaking about the landlord or the Hipster business owner's parents?
 
2014-06-08 08:24:45 PM
Probably the saddest example of this type of thinking involves some governmental bean-counter who
concludes that, say, a hospital should be closed and torn down to make way for some shopping mall
or office building, usually because somewhere he's got a connection....but the resultant mall / offices,
if built at all, never experience more than about 25% occupancy, and now no hospital exists, and the
total costs exceed the savings from demolishing the old hospital.
 
2014-06-08 08:30:59 PM

12349876: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Well, if they are paying the same rent they paid when they opened in 1999, it's due for an increase.

The article doesn't answer that, but it'd be dumb for a landlord to keep rent flat for 15 years then slap on a 70% increase unless you want the tenant gone.  A low to mid single digit increase every year or two or three would be the better way to go.




Commercial leases rarely run that short. I bet they had a 15 year lease at 1999 rates and the owner is just bringing the rates current.
 
2014-06-08 08:34:03 PM

12349876: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Well, if they are paying the same rent they paid when they opened in 1999, it's due for an increase.

The article doesn't answer that, but it'd be dumb for a landlord to keep rent flat for 15 years then slap on a 70% increase unless you want the tenant gone.  A low to mid single digit increase every year or two or three would be the better way to go.




Reading the comments, it looks like the place only took cash. That may also contribute to the lack of ability to afford the new rent.
 
2014-06-08 09:24:13 PM
And nothing of value shall have been lost.

/spacious 1BR near Bedford Ave 15 years ago?  Take that $700/mo and double it.
//then shove it up
 
2014-06-08 09:54:59 PM

06wildcat: buzzcut73: I always get a little warm tingly feeling in my heart when I see commercial landlords do this to well established businesses, only to have the space sit empty for long periods of time because nobody wants to pay the new higher rent. I dunno if that happens in Williamsburg too much, but it seems to in a lot of other places I have lived.

Generally happens with "investment" owners/ or when kids inherit the family business without ever having worked in it. Vacancy is always the biggest cost for rental property that hits twice on revenue and carrying costs that would otherwise be paid by the tenant.

Those new to real estate investing generally set the price and expect the money to flow in without doing all the research on what the impact of said price will do to the vacancy rate.

And not of this includes the potential damage the can be caused by turnover and kicking out a performing tenant for a new venture increases the likelyhood of that happening as well.


I've seen it happen in retail too. Malls swap ownership/management and the goal is to make things trendier or more upscale. Keystone at the Crossing in Indianapolis is a good example of this working well because the demographics are rich yuppies who like that type of place.

When I left my register jockey position, the mall I was at was starting the process - kick out about half a dozen established stores with customers to chase after the bored, stupid housewife/female teenager demographic. I'll bet $500 that the store I worked at won't be there in 2 years and not because of a lack of sales.
 
2014-06-08 10:05:26 PM
Can't wait for the first homeless 100 thousandaires than millionaires.
 
2014-06-08 10:10:39 PM
Same thing happened to a grocery store by in the town I grew up in. This place had been in business for at least 30 years, and the whole time it was probably 200 feet away from a major chain grocery store, and it still prospered. Then around 2004 a developer bought up all of the apartment buildings in the area and turned them into upscale condos. I guess they also bought the land that the grocery store was on also because in 2006 they raised the rent to a point were the owners of the store couldn't afford to renew the lease, and announced that they were opening an specialty grocery store at the location specializing in high end meats and exotic high end food stuffs. Of course we all know what went down shortly after that and as a result that once busy and prosperous grocery store has been sitting empty since, along with many of those condo units that were converted from apartments.

But stuff like this isn't always a greedy landlord wanting to take advantage of a hot area or a hot business. Because any landlord that has owned a building for years and has had a business that has been their for years paying rent would be stupid to price that tenant out with rent expecting someone else to be willing to pay the inflated rent because the area is hot. Most landlords know that you raise rent enough to cover any new expenses. What is usually the case in these situations  is that a real estate developer or speculator grossly overpays for a building or buildings in an area because it is hot and has to drastically raise rents to cover their own expenses and make a profit.
 
2014-06-08 10:23:19 PM

Saborlas: [i970.photobucket.com image 750x627]


A nice summary I heard [maybe from a TED talk?] was that all YOOF cultures eventually get laughed at by the following generations. But today's HIPSTER generation is the first time a youth culture is being laughed at WHILE IT HAPPENS.

The guy offered some reasons but I'll just leave it at that. I reckon he's nailed it.
 
2014-06-08 10:43:31 PM
Rent seekers. Yuck.
We need to move far away from the idea that land is an investment and judge it strictly for use. Landlords add no value whatsoever.
 
2014-06-08 10:54:17 PM

buzzcut73: I always get a little warm tingly feeling in my heart when I see commercial landlords do this to well established businesses, only to have the space sit empty for long periods of time because nobody wants to pay the new higher rent. I dunno if that happens in Williamsburg too much, but it seems to in a lot of other places I have lived.


That happens a hell of a lot it seems. I've seen places sit empty for YEARS because landlords would rather sit on empty property than forgo a higher rent.

My own $0.02: If you're running a successful restaurant, put some of those profits into a property fund to either a) buy out your current location or b) buy a nearby location where you can move when the landlord jacks the rent.
 
2014-06-08 10:55:39 PM
This is why we bought the building for our business. We had a fair landlord but I always worried she would get a wild hair up her ass and up the rent. Now we have a building 3 times larger and the mortgage is only $400 more than the rent we were paying. Building ownership isn't for every business but it's working for us.
 
2014-06-08 10:56:44 PM

whither_apophis: GreenAdder: rjakobi: Did hipsters exist fifteen years ago? Or are they a crossbreed hipster strain filtered through the emo gene stream?

Yes, they did. They just dressed differently back then. They were still obsessed with being into things "before you came along and ruined them." And they hated everything you liked, because in their feeble  minds it put them above you.

I was hating hipsters long before it became trendy to hate hipsters.


I thought one of the essential characteristics of hipsters is that they are poseurs. They latch onto something cool and take it for their own, and try to claim that they were the ones who "discovered" it.
 
2014-06-08 11:01:39 PM

Fubegra: whither_apophis: GreenAdder: rjakobi: Did hipsters exist fifteen years ago? Or are they a crossbreed hipster strain filtered through the emo gene stream?

Yes, they did. They just dressed differently back then. They were still obsessed with being into things "before you came along and ruined them." And they hated everything you liked, because in their feeble  minds it put them above you.

I was hating hipsters long before it became trendy to hate hipsters.

I thought one of the essential characteristics of hipsters is that they are poseurs. They latch onto something cool and take it for their own, and try to claim that they were the ones who "discovered" it.


Not exactly.

Hipsters are a plague.  A disease. They should be exterminated with extreme prejudice on sight. Because they are worse than useless: At least useless, by definition, has no use, upside, or positive, but as such no inherent negative.

Hipsters are way worse. They produce next to nothing if that, and are a radical drain on the world around them many timed the per-capita value of thinking humans.
 
2014-06-08 11:18:33 PM

bingethinker: buzzcut73: I always get a little warm tingly feeling in my heart when I see commercial landlords do this to well established businesses, only to have the space sit empty for long periods of time because nobody wants to pay the new higher rent. I dunno if that happens in Williamsburg too much, but it seems to in a lot of other places I have lived.

A bar I liked got closed down this way. There's some kind of sushi restaurant there now. I will never set foot in the place, and neither will a lot of other people. Fark the greedy landlord.


A landlord here wouldn't renew the lease of an extremely popular bar, known for decades for outstanding rock, blues, and local bands.  They said the area was coming up, and that new tenants would pay higher rents.

The building has been empty for a decade, while the surrounding neighborhood property values have skyrocketed.  Most of the locals still burn over how the landlord treated the bar owner, and nobody will even consider moving into the old place.
 
2014-06-09 12:14:09 AM
Some kind of rent stabilization for small businesses would make a lot of sense. Not as strict as the residential code here in NYC, but SOME protection from crap like this.
 
2014-06-09 01:05:58 AM

bingethinker: A bar I liked got closed down this way. There's some kind of sushi restaurant there now. I will never set foot in the place, and neither will a lot of other people. Fark the greedy landlord.


Right?  How dare they take advantage of the fact that their property is more valuable than it used to be.  They should just suck it up and pay the increased property taxes they have to pay for the higher assessed value and forgoe making a profit so the shiatty coffee shop can stick around..
 
2014-06-09 01:17:21 AM

lilplatinum: bingethinker: A bar I liked got closed down this way. There's some kind of sushi restaurant there now. I will never set foot in the place, and neither will a lot of other people. Fark the greedy landlord.

Right?  How dare they take advantage of the fact that their property is more valuable than it used to be.  They should just suck it up and pay the increased property taxes they have to pay for the higher assessed value and forgoe making a profit so the shiatty coffee shop can stick around..


You act like they have added anything of value to the equation. If it's such a raw deal, they can sell the damn property and still come out ahead.
 
2014-06-09 01:21:46 AM

Sergeant Grumbles: You act like they have added anything of value to the equation. If it's such a raw deal, they can sell the damn property and still come out ahead.


As if hipsters add anything of farking value to any equation.

Its their property, they are certainly entitled to make as much off of it's value as the neighboring building owners too - they don't owe a lifetime of static rent to a mediocre coffee shop.   If it's such a raw deal for the coffee shop, they can just buy their own damn property and not have to worry about it.
 
2014-06-09 01:29:15 AM

lilplatinum: bingethinker: A bar I liked got closed down this way. There's some kind of sushi restaurant there now. I will never set foot in the place, and neither will a lot of other people. Fark the greedy landlord.

Right?  How dare they take advantage of the fact that their property is more valuable than it used to be.  They should just suck it up and pay the increased property taxes they have to pay for the higher assessed value and forgoe making a profit so the shiatty coffee shop can stick around..


You know damn well in just about all of these situations were rent is massively increasing the property tax increase isn't causing the rent to jump that much. You know the reason why the landlords are increasing rent so massively is to take advantage of the area being hot, hoping that if the current tenant can't or isn't willing to pay it, somebody else will. Sometimes it works out great for them and sometimes it bites them in the ass. But don't pretend that all of the massive increase in rent is due to property tax..
 
2014-06-09 01:49:41 AM

lilplatinum: As if hipsters add anything of farking value to any equation.


A successful business with regular customers is worth more than a landlord whose only claim to the value actually created is a deed with his name on it.
 
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