Are Pearl Paint’s Days Numbered?

When commercial spaces come on the market, I don’t always pass along the info, because there are times when the current business may, in fact, not be going anywhere—the landlord could be changing, but the tenant might stay on. Or the landlord could be hoping for a better deal, and in the absence of one, the tenant goes nowhere for a long time. (I mentioned it for the New York Sports Club on Reade because I thought you might want to know if you were signing up for an annual membership.)

I’m mentioning it for Pearl Paint because the store is a downtown icon, and from the sound of the listing, Pearl isn’t likely to survive a transition. The entire six-level, 11,850-square-foot space is listed on Massey Knakal’s website for sale or rent—or teardown: “The building delivers over 2,000 SF of air rights. Due to the sizable floor plates, phenomenal location for retail (Canal) and residential (Lispenard), the building offers a great opportunity for a developer, investor and/or user. The space can be delivered vacant.” It’d be a shame to lose the buildings—underneath the garish paint job, they’re probably attractive.

304-306 Canal listing

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  1. Shame that Pearl Paint is going out. As an art student in the 70s this store was THE place to buy art supplies…… and it was always crowded with art students and artists of all genres. Travelled from the Bronx to buy my supplies when I went to the HS of Art & Design and Pratt Institute.

  2. I often wonder how they are doing- they expanded to multiple stores on Lispenard Street many years ago, then contracted back to the main one. Last few times I went there, they seemed to have less & less inventory in stock, at least on the main floor. Would be a shame to lose them, as they have always been the go to place for not only paint, but boards, frames, portfolio cases, tape, journals, etc.

  3. I am another art student then college professor 1969 and on….who will also miss Pearl Paint. It was a rite of passage for any up and coming art student.

  4. Lived here while studying fashion at FIT. The architecture alone is worth saving this building.

  5. I’ve spent much time + $ at Pearl. They’ve been in trouble for a long time.
    Get ready for more luxury condos :(
    Or a hotel.

  6. How sad. Support a small art supply store where the staff really knows their stuff is: Soho Art Supply on Wooster Street between Canal and Grand Street.

  7. What a treat Canal St was in the 60’s & 70’s! All those plastic and findings places, hardware stores and Pearl Paint. I remember Mr. Pearlstein in the original paint store (the present frame shop) and his black & white pussycat. Sob…another teardrop in history.

  8. I worked at Pearl Paint for 29 years. Yesterday was my last day, along with 38 co-workers. Over the last week and a half, so many customers, many, who have been, shopping there for 20, 30, 40, 50 years have come in and given us words of encouragement and expressed their sorrow, at the fact that we would no longer be there to help them. It has been a very stressful week and a half for me and many others. May the Pearl Paint Flagship store, R.I.P.