07 April 2009

Old Media Faces the Music

Hey, that only took six weeks.

After consistently reporting on this blog that Manny's Music—the hallowed instrument store on W. 48th Street's Music Row—was closing for good in May, and that the rest of the block may soon fall into the hands of expanding Rockefeller Center, Old Media finally noticed.

Following my most recent, April 5 post—in which I reprinted a selection of the dozens of heartfelt comments I've have received from Manny's-loving readers—the dailies, radio and television spring into action.

In the New York Post:

"The 48th Street scene is changing drastically," said Paul Ash, president of guitar-store chain Sam Ash, which bought Manny's a decade ago and owns several other music stores on the block. "The whole industry is down."

But he said the biggest challenge has come from the Rockefeller Group, a real-estate developer that has bought up most of the small buildings housing the shops with the aim of tearing them down to build office towers. The company chose not to renew Manny's lease.

And in Crain's, a contradictory report:

The New York Post reported on Monday that the musical instruments retailer, a rock ‘n roll fixture at 156 W. 48th St. for 75 years, would be leaving its Big Apple digs because landlord Rockefeller Group Development Corp. would not renew the company’s lease.

But Rockefeller Group said in a statement that it has been in negotiations with Manny’s, which is owned by the Sam Ash chain, for over a year in order to extend the music store’s lease. In fact, the landlord has offered Sam Ash a lease extension through 2013.

“As the landlord, we would be happy to have Manny’s Music continue as a tenant in the building,” Rockefeller Group said in a statement.

What's going on here?

And, also from Crain's yikes!:

Real estate insiders speculate that the company will build an office tower or retail restaurant or superstore. Restaurants such as the Cheesecake Factory and Houston’s, and even the International House of Pancakes, have been looking for space in the neighborhood. Apparel tenants are also drawn to the bright lights near Times Square, hoping to follow in the footsteps of teen retailers American Eagle and Forever 21, both of which recently leased large spaces in the vicinity.

There was no mention of Lost City breaking the story in either of these accounts. I guess it would be too embarrassing to lead your April 6 story with, "The blog Lost city reported on Feb. 20...."

Apparently, there was also a story on Channel 11, and I know that CNN is working on something.

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