Citibabes Isn’t Moving to Tribeca

Citibabes, which announced back in February of 2017 that it was moving to a three-floor space at 142 Duane, where it would also open a preschool, is closing instead. Here’s the letter from founder Tracey Frost Rensky:

It is with a heavy heart and so much sadness that today we must announce Citibabes will be closing on May 25, 2018. After 13 years of business we are left without a home for our beloved community.

The lease for our Soho space ends this summer, and our new location in Tribeca has been caught in a New York–style real estate battle between the landlord and the co-op board, with Citibabes the innocent party caught in the middle. We have done everything in our power to try and mitigate this situation but now, 18 months after signing our lease, the landlord has terminated it, claiming they are in an unwinnable battle with the building’s co-op board.

Citibabes will stay open for business as usual, offering Citischool, enrichment classes and unlimited playground access through end of day on Friday May 25th. We hope that you will come play and enjoy the final 6 weeks in our beautiful facility.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team, and we will be happy to answer your questions about closing times and refunds.

If you are enrolled in Summer Camp or have purchased our unlimited Summer enrichment classes our team will be in touch to issue a full refund.

Citibabes has been my heart and soul for the past 13 years. I want to take this time, on behalf of our entire team, to say that it has been our privilege to play such an important role in serving you and your families. You are what has made Citibabes so special and unique and you have truly become our family. We hope we have had a positive impact on your lives because you have all deeply affected ours.

The joy that we have experienced watching your children grow and learn has been an honor that we have never taken for granted. We thank you for your love, support, and friendships and wish you and your family the utmost happiness in the future!

If anyone involved would care to explain what the issue was with the landlord and co-op board, I’m sure we’d all love to know.



  1. Super dumb question, but aren’t there numerous empty storefronts in Tribeca that Citibabes could move to? Also, Citibabes would be a great name for an adult entertainment establishment. You wit me, fellas and gals?

    • Health Code says these kind of child care facilities require 2 means of egress, and fire escapes do not count. If you have a store in a typical 25-feet wide building that is not on a corner, no 2 exits to the street will be sufficiently “remote,” i.e., separated 30+ feet from each other, to count as 2 means of egress per the Building Code. This is true even if you use the residential entrance as a second means of egress (as allowed in converted loft buildings).

      That limits the legal spaces for this kind of use to the wider (40-50+ feet wide) storefronts and corner buildings. This space is 7,000 SF on ground, basement, and mezzanine.

  2. Nobu/Nobu Next Door? Bouley? Dylan Prime?

    • All fixtured as restaurants, as is City Hall across the street, which discourages the conversion, but Bouley is apparently for sale.

  3. Stormy Daniels’ Presents….CITIBABES!!

  4. not up to Code you gotta go!