While covering the renovation/conversion of a 5-corner market last week (see post), I mentioned that there was another market conversion being proposed. This one, near the Kleinhans district, at the corner of Jersey and Fargo, is another corner market that could soon see an extensive overhaul. The conversion looks to be a bit more intensive and would dramatically alter the nature of the corner. The computer generated rendering is rather striking – the project would transform the corner market into a neighborhood café and/or eatery most likely. The design kind of reminds me of a New York City subway car… or the lines of an old retro diner maybe.
The property was purchased by Giles Kavanagh back in 2006. It was then that he took a step back in order to identify what the best future use would be for the building and the neighborhood. Up until this point, the brick addition has been home to a corner store (Shop-Smart), but as similar grab-n-go stores can be found on a variety of streets throughout the surrounding streets, Giles feels that there is a better use for the commercial footprint. That’s why he has decided to change it up. He wants to identify an alternative need – something that the Lower West Side can rally behind.
He’s willing to do a rather dramatic build-out to suit a business, be it café or eatery, in order to make a real impact. The build-out would, of course, go hand-in-hand with a longer term lease. When I look at this corner, I picture a place where neighbors stop in in the morning to grab a paper, a fresh-squeezed orange juice, and then a croissant and a coffee to go. I imagine a couple ‘two-seater’ café tables perched outside, underneath the Fargo windows. I see a person behind the counter, wearing a white apron. Something simple. A place where residents can go and meet while suits pop in and out before and after work. Throw in a basket of slim, two-foot long baguettes and a cheese counter and maybe some jams and jellies? From Giles:
“I took it over in a neglected state, with 40 years of dinged walls and wallpaper caked everywhere. I have restored floors two and three. Floor one is in the process of being done this fall. I am putting together very European/Ikea, mixed with old Buffalo, detail apartments in place. I find that corner ultra charming – the current shopkeepers are friendly, but the neighborhood would benefit if it were radically overhauled into a restaurant, café, atelier, etc.. I favor doing more than a Spot Coffee. More like a nice panini shop.
“Visually, I would like the place to be designed very chic yet cozy place for D’Youville and Kleinhans neighbors to have a nice baguette, read the paper, etc.. I am willing to build the space out to suit the needs of a tenant who can bring an attractive business to the corner. I want to have fun with the design. Why be dull? The CGI renderings shown here, I had professionally done, and represent one designer’s ideas. I like the drawings, but am open to other ideas for the space. In all likelihood, the current store would stay until summer, then with the right plan and tenant, I would consider completely refurbishing it. “