- Application deadlines
- Waterfront planning
BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER | Things are looking up for Amanda Byron Zink, whose pet boutique and grooming business at 38 Peck Slip was trashed by Superstorm Sandy. Still displaced from her original location, as of April 13 she now has a pop-up shop at the end of Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport.
The Howard Hughes Corporation has agreed to keep the pier open through Sept. 9 before demolishing the existing mall to make room for a new one.
Zink said that after months of trying to reach Howard Hughes management, three weeks ago she got an email from the firm’s new general manager for the South Street Seaport, Phillip St. Pierre, suggesting that they meet. “He knew I was looking for space,” she said, “so he offered temporary space on the pier.”
She declined to discuss her rent, but said it was “very fair.”
Zink said that St. Pierre also offered her the use of a retail cart that she could position on the cobblestoned section of Fulton Street between Water and South Streets and said that she and other displaced South Street Seaport merchants could place advertising on the shuttered stores along that corridor.
Zink’s pop-up store is in the space formerly occupied by the Sequoia restaurant. The old wooden bar now holds such items as the Salty Paw’s Blue Dane Ale for dogs (non-alcoholic and laced with glucosamine, which is good for stiff joints), Snoutstiks (to keep a dog’s nose from getting sunburned), and hand-baked dog biscuits.
The store also carries nautically themed dog collars and harnesses and summer apparel for dogs, including sunglasses. “We carry the fun items you can’t get anywhere else,” Zink said.
In addition to pet supplies, Zink offers grooming services for dogs and cats. After being displaced from her Peck Slip store, she operated from temporary quarters at the Seaport Animal Hospital, where she was only able to groom small animals. Now, in her new pop-up store, she can groom animals of any size — by appointment only. Call (212) 732-2275 for more information.
Zink hopes that she will be able to get back into her Peck Slip store beginning in May, but even if she is able to negotiate a lease with her landlord, the Durst Organization, she will still have to rebuild and get Department of Building approvals for the construction.
“That was a big surprise,” she said. “I thought I would be able to use my old design plans.” Now, even though she believes that she has found an architect who will draw up the plans pro bono, she is faced with significant construction costs.
She received a deferred grant of $5,000 from New York City’s Small Business Services department that she can use for “hard assets” but not for inventory. In addition, she was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Downtown Alliance, but would only be eligible to receive it when and if she actually reopens in her old location. The other problem is that the Downtown Alliance grant was only good through April 30, 2013.
Zink said that she had heard that the Alliance was trying to work things out with landlords to extend the deadline.
Zink’s business was one of around a dozen that had formerly been located on historic Front Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, and on Peck Slip. She said that more than half of the merchants have signed leases that will enable them to return. The Durst Organization is giving them some free rent and has offered them $20 a square foot to help with the build out.
In the meantime, Zink hopes to have her Pier 17 pop-up shop open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. She had to lay off her staff during the months her business was closed or operating from temporary quarters. Now that she has inventory and space, she needs the personnel to realize her ambitious rebuilding plans.