Myoptics, Dudley’s, Tribeca Wine closing?

I bumped into David today (the charming guy who has been behind the counter at Myoptics for years) who told me that building – 325-327 Greenwich (also dba 187 Duane) has been sold and they have till April to leave. Indeed, city records show that an LLC purchased the deed on Jan. 31 for $7.3 million.

This must mean that Dudley’s Paw and Tribeca Wines & Spirits are going with them; every child in the neighborhood already mourned Cornerstone Grill when it closed in 2017. I know more than a few four-legged friends — Boomer especially — will not be pleased with this news. Dudley’s Paw has been at that site since 1992.

The building was sold by Peter Matera, who inherited the building from his father, John Matera, who acquired it in 1980. (I can’t seem to decipher what he paid then from city records.) It looks like there were some tax liens on the building that were discharged just before the sale in January and previously in October; and there are multiple DOB violations still open with penalties due – problems that seem to have contributed to the early demise of Cornerstone. The CofO is from 1922 and allows for a restaurant and storage.

In addition to being nice folk, Myoptics also had the cutest window displays in the neighborhood. David said they will still have the online store at



  1. If the transfer tax was $0.50 per $500, they paid $179,300 for the property in 1980.

  2. This will be the end to Greenwich Street ( between Jay and Duane) as we know it. Loads of empty store fronts as it is. Former Best Market now at nighttime has no lights which is dangerous. This is the perfect spot for someone to get mugged or worst. Dudley, Tribeca Wines the eyeglass store are old mom and pop stores that made our neighborhood what it is today. Its awful to think of them closing. Very Very sad. Working people trying to make a living have to deal with greedy landlords who get tax breaks when stores are empty. Horrible news for our area.

    • Exactly right. Soon it will be a bank or a RiteAid.

    • ” greedy landlords who get tax breaks when stores are empty”

      They may be greedy, but the tax break story is still false.

      • Hi James, so why do they leave the store front empty for so long? I know why IPN is, they are going to do construction soon ( which takes years) what about the rest? if no tax benefit why?

        • “why do they leave the store front empty for so long?”

          There could be lots of reasons.

          If they have a mortgage, they may “need” a certain minimum rent to get bank approval for a long term lease commitment.

          If not, they may be able to carry the building at zero retail rent in the short term financially, writing off the loss against other gains, as any business does, while hoping not to lock in a low, sub-market rent for the long term.

          Also, you may have noticed that the retail business is undergoing major structural change, and there are not necessarily enough qualified retail tenants to fill all the empty stores. Further, evicting a nonpaying commercial tenant or one who has done structural damage or illegal alterations is a long and costly legal process, which does not encourage risk taking by landlords.

          • “If they have a mortgage, they may “need” a certain minimum rent to get bank approval for a long term lease commitment.”

            this is the core problem. i believe what has happened is that many landlords took out mortgages to buy additional properties. when those secondary properties appreciated, they took our additional liens on them to buy another property and so on. they can’t rent for less than the minimum rent specified in their mortgages without having their credit lines cut.

          • thanks for the response. Rents are just unaffordable to mom and pop stores in New York city. its really sad.

          • The old neighborhood has been long gone and replaced by big stores , Target, Duane Reade and so on. Also rich tenants mostly with no manners. Lived here since 92. The big fight to help small business survive after 911 and then this. What a waste. Gee Whiz made store half the size after rent went to $100k a month. So shameful. NO one does anything about this. Our Mayor is a disgrace and useless.

    • New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, May 2017:

      “Several small business owners suggested that landlords receive a tax deduction by leaving stores vacant – a sort of ‘hardship’ benefit for dealing with the loss in rent revenue from a vacant store. In speaking to tax experts and reviewing the state tax code, we were not able to identify any such deduction, leading us to conclude this is likely pervasive misinformation.”

    • Are these buildings individually landmarked or are they just part of the blanket Tribeca West Historic District? What I mean is could they be demolished individually or as a group?

      • This building is not a city landmark, but is in the Tribeca West Historic District. This map is the best way to explore the city’s landmark system.
        And this is from the LPC on construction in historic districts:
        Landmark designation does not “freeze” a building or an area. Alterations, demolition, and new construction continue to take place, but LPC must review the proposed changes and determine whether they are appropriate. This review helps ensure that the special qualities of the designated buildings are not compromised or destroyed. In addition, new construction may occur when an owner of a vacant lot or building of no significance in a historic district wishes to construct a new building on the site. The Commission has approved such proposals when the design of the new building was found to be appropriate to the character of the historic district.

  3. More clarity from Holyman’s 2017 report that suggests a number of ways to help address vacancies on Bleecker Street. This is one of a number of solutions offered in his report : “Phasing Out Tax Deductions for Landlords with Persistent Vacancies: Though landlords who leave retail storefronts vacant cannot deduct lost potential rental income, they are able to receive deductions for depreciation of property and operating vacancies. This proposal would disincentivize vacant storefronts by phasing out these deductions for building owners who leave retail spaces vacant over a year. The report at the link.

    Another link from the NYTimes from 9/18, for those who want to explore storefront blight further:

    Very upset to hear that Dudley’s will likely be forced out. Yvonne was here before 9/11 and remained here after. She is the proprietor whom I think of first when I think about what gives this neighborhood its heart and soul. She’s always warm and incredibly helpful and we will miss her dearly.

    • Here’s the quote from the report. The only analogy it cites is the loss of a temporary *incentive*, as opposed to the addition of a penalty. (State government cannot affect federal tax deductions either.)

      “While the state level of government is limited in its ability to impact local zoning decisions, one way the Legislature can act is by utilizing its taxing authority. While landlords who leave retail storefronts vacant cannot deduct the lost potential rental income they could have received from their state income tax liability, they, like all owners of commercial real estate, are able to receive deductions for depreciation of the property and operating expenses.

      To create a disincentive for leaving retail storefronts vacant, the state could explore phasing out those deductions, on a sliding scale, for building owners who leave retail spaces vacant for over one year. New York could also consider various tax incentives, credits, or penalties to dissuade landlords from keeping a store vacant. As one example of this type of policy, the City of London provides commercial building owners who lose their tenants a short period of relief on their business rates, or taxes. After three months, the tax relief expires and owners must pay full business rates even if the store is vacant. This is meant to encourage landlords to rent out their space.”

    • And I remember Dudley and the dog Holloween Parade he hosted.

  4. The trend of empty store fronts all over the city with Real Estate Investment companies that are not involved in a neighborhood. They do not care if their spaces are occupied more than owning in a particular location; hot areas and portfolio addresses are about book values. Often times, they have no community buy in or compelling motivation to provide space to small businesses or any type of local community services. The trend has had a profound negative affect on neighborhoods all over the city.

  5. We need to put pressure on Mayor De Blasio and the City Council to come up with some kind of tax and rent stabofor local businesses. The Mayor was pitching something along those lines. We need to get rid of the city taxes on small businesses and we need some kind of built in protections when buildings are sold. Others NYC is going to end up a wasteland.
    No joke.

    • How about the Mayor not facilitate giving Amazon $1.3 billion in NYC subsidies by bypassing the ULURP public planning, review, and comment processes? (That’s in addition to the $1.7 billion in discretionary subsidies from Gov. Cuomo.) They are choosing not only not to help small businesses, but to hurt them by giving their tax dollars to a behemoth competitor, for whom they clear away the regulatory hurdles. There’s your City government in action. Gee, thanks.

      • Could not agree more; Amazon coming is going to do so much more harm than any good. I still can’t believe it.

      • i would say bringing amazon into this discussion is a straw man. yes, we need to work on policies that help small businesses but i’m sure, as a city, we can accommodate both large and small businesses. the jobs they create are the lifeblood of the city.

        • The point of bringing Amazon into this discussion is to highlight the regulatory burden businesses face in NYC, mandated by the Mayor and City Council. Amazon’s biggest benefit–bigger than free cash subsidies–was to avoid the onerous ULURP process.

          Maybe City government could similarly roll back the at-times Kafkaesque burdens imposed on small shops and businesses by the various alphabet soup of agencies: DOB, DOT, DOH, DCA, FDNY, etc. I cannot imagine that, given the scale and scope of the city-run NYCHA disaster, why anyone has blind faith in City Government to address the most pressing problems these days. (Let’s see if their latest initiative to address the parking placard abuse amounts to anything.

          • yes, i agree that the regulatory burden on small businesses is a major problem. i also think that bringing amazon here is a net positive.

      • James thanks for being so informative!

  6. Soon there will be nothing left of the Tribeca that I love. I wonder if the finance peeps who’ve taken over the neighborhood value these kind of places.

    • they value nothing but their money. They don’t care. Character has been long gone in Tribeca, Battery and now the Seaport. All over the city. Its only getting worst

  7. Bingo! Good ol’ Warren Wilhelm (among others) did a number on this one.

  8. Or what if there is just too much retail square footage per capita in the US and NYC?

  9. The retail landscape is changing already and I am not sure what can happen on the storefront level that will be long lasting and meaningful. Less and less is being purchased from brick and morter business. Big retailers are scrambling to figure out how to jump on the online sales, but many are and will perish–same, sadly for small businesses. Market forces should dictate that over time, the rents being asked will drop–landlords better wise up that retail is not coming back roaring and I think they will eat losses or find other types of tenants–schools, service oriented businesses etc.
    My 2 cents on Amazon is: 1) NYC is the most desirable location for tech talent right now, 2) NYC and DC are the only cities with the mass transit that Amazon requested in RPF (duh) , 3) placing a giant corporate presence in NYC is not the same as being given a big plot of land in some suburb 20 miles from a mid sized middling city, 4) LICC is not “outer borough” 5) NYC has some standard incentives offered to companies–we need to stop prostituting the city. We have a ULURP process for a reason–we don’t need to bow down to corporate overlords because they ask us to. 6) Google and FB have their second largest offices here already, so if you want to be in the mix–please do so, don’t ask for outsized subsidies for a move you were going to make anyways.

  10. MEANWHILE…. across the street at IPN many ‘LAP’ tenants received the opportunity to be bought out letters today. No one really knows what going on at IPN. Unfortunately too much hearsay. However I met someone who works for Vornado who said they had big plans for the whole space. Yet. no one can find out the true intentions.