Colin Moynihan, The New York Times, June 6, 1999:
For years, the storefronts in the landmark Belnord apartment house on Amsterdam Avenue between 86th and 87th Streets were occupied by small shops like Aquarius Hardware and Houseware and the DH Gourmet Deli. But what was once a row of six storefronts has been empty for months now. Though CVS has been planning for more than a year to open a new drugstore there, many neighborhood residents are wondering why the space is still vacant.
Last week, graffiti marked the walls and windows of the gutted spaces. Only metal trash containers and heaps of debris were visible inside. ”It’s hard to understand how so many storefronts can stay empty for so long,” said Tom Vitullo-Martin, the executive director of the Belnord Landmark Conservancy, a tenants association.
A CVS Corporation spokesman, Todd Andrews, said the company had signed a lease in April 1998 for the 8,600-square-foot space in the 91-year-old Italian Renaissance building, whose tenants have included luminaries like Isaac Bashevis Singer, Zero Mostel and Lee Strasberg. But Mr. Andrews said CVS’s plans to move in were set back after the company discovered that the rounded metal canopies above the protruding glass windows of the storefronts were badly deteriorated and needed to be replaced.
Read the full article in The New York Times:
”It’s hard to understand how so many storefronts can stay empty for so long,”Thomas Vitullo-Martin, executive director, Belnord Landmark Conservancy