Nosy Neighbor: What’s happening at the bank on Canal and Broadway?

J. spotted the new use of the bank on the southwest corner of Canal and Broadway first, and from the link he found at the time I couldn’t make sense of it. It required an in-person visit, and even with that, the concept is a bit hard to wrap your mind around.

Le Board turns out to be modeled like an old-fashioned department store — think Bloomingdale’s or L&T, but on a much smaller scale and with a twist: all the products are by and for women. On the ground floor they have a bit of everything: makeup, shoes, clothes, accessories, jewelry — all displayed on tables or racks throughout the (massive) space. Along the back of the store, open to the rest of the room, are several tables for services from an outpost of the Wink Brow Bar, which has locations in the West Village, Rock Center, 6th Avenue and Cobble Hill.

Scheduled for upstairs is a co-working space with rates starting at $300 a month (and the website implies that the co-working firms must have at least one female founder, like the retail). There’s also a coffee bar planned for the downstairs, called Space 194.

Le Board took a year-long lease, and this is their second year in business. They started at 67th and Fifth. Sales associate Laticia Bispo explained the ins and outs of the place for now; I’ll go back when things are more fully developed.



  1. I thought and Italian Eataly-style food court was coming there?

  2. I also was hoping for the food court. Would be great to have more food-shopping options in the area.

    Still, I’m glad to see that the building is being put to some use.

  3. Weren’t our police supposed to get rid of the illegal bag sellers in front of this place? The situation has only become worse. Query: If our local police force cannot handle a bunch of loiterers and illegal goods scammers, how can we trust them to protect us from greater threats? Just saying.

    • Don’t we have community affairs officers now we can contact about this? Anyone have that info? Anyone tried to contact and get resolution to this issue?

  4. The abundance of illegal selling on Canal Street west of Broadway creates an effective barrier to successful merchants attempting to sell legally from storefronts. Time and time, over many years, storekeepers have just given up, realizing that for whatever reason NYC is okay with the status quo.
    I wish the new store the best of luck. but my fear is that NYC, by its continued inaction, will seriously handicap any storekeeper in and around Canal Sreet.

  5. This has been going on since I moved here in the late 70’s. Maybe even before. Gets cleaned out occasionally for a month or so, then starts again.

    It’s east of Broadway too, and has been on side streets and on Broadway itself. There used to be a time when tourist buses came from the South like Virginia and Maryland running engines on the Canal St. side of the Post Office and going back down with shoppers full of giant black plastic bags full of fakes.

    Our law enforcement doesn’t seem to care, that’s for sure. Maybe there isn’t enough money in it for them.

  6. I never understood the appeal of counterfeits. Isn’t the point of seeking to own a Rolex, well, to actually own a real authentic Rolex? The design, the history, the “pedigree”, the workmanship, the beauty, the knowledge that it’s an original.

    It’s somewhat similar to counterfeit art, but somehow people are willing to buy counterfeit consumer goods, even luxury ones. A good counterfeit artwork can presumably convince even an expert, but once you know, isn’t the experience of it ruined for its owner?

    Not to mention the ethical and legal issues of essentially ripping off intellectual property. Perhaps some would argue that those designers are greedy and evil so it’s justified in ripping them off. Then again, if they are so evil and greedy, why would you want even fake versions of their goods, with their logos and all that? Also, where do you draw the line once you start down that slippery slope? Can I play Robin Hood (making my own laws, stealing from the rich and giving to…well, myself) whenever I decide a product’s prices are too high or I disagree with what I think I know of a company’s policies?

    And fake goods are infecting everywhere. So many fake items on Amazon, for example. Amazon tries to weed them out, apparently, but it’s a constant battle. Even fake electronics that can look very convincing, down to the packaging; you may find out too late (when the product fails early, for example) to have any hope of returning it. (Search for Amazon’s “Project Zero”, obviously inspired by our mayor’s “Vision Zero”!)

    I do imagine it makes any potential storefront business there very difficult to maintain. Best of luck to this venture in the bank building.

    Sorry for the ramble; I would have shortened it but I already pressed “Submit Comment”

    • The New York Times published an article “Undercover on Canal St., With Louis Vuitton Impostors in His Sights” on Jan 29, 2006.

      A woman interested in purchasing handbags watched as investigators loaded confiscated, fake handbags into a truck. When they reassured the woman the handbags were counterfeit, she replied, in shock, “‘I thought they were stolen!'”

  7. Tales of Two Cities
    While campaigning in Iowa, Mayor DiBlasio promises to limit the days that mayors are allowed show up to work at their respective City Halls to 10 days or less if he is elected President.
    Not a great area to feel safe in
    Tripadvisor Review of Canal Street
    Reviewed June 5, 2016
    Went to Canal Street just for the experience, and what an experience! From the moment you walk out of the subway you are hassled by people offering you knock of designer bags and purses. All of these people hassling you made it feel a bit unsafe so walked quickly down the street to get to Soho which is much nicer! Don’t think I’d like to go here when it’s dark.

    • IMO Corey Johnson should remain acting Mayor even after our usual non-acting Mayor BdB returns from his latest Iowan foray.

    • Perhaps a border wall can be constructed to keep the mayor out of the city when he returns from his “presidential campaign.”

  8. I could say something like “these are just poor immigrants trying to capture a piece of the American dream” but I’ll just say “be careful what you wish for”.

  9. Is crime up or down? What to believe?

    It sure feels like it is going up, but I don’t dare generalize from anecdotal evidence and my own limited experience.

    Here’s a new critique editorial:

  10. It’s not just crime. It the overall slimy feel of the upper echelon of our very own NYC government. Here is a compelling argument against our woeful mayor:

  11. From a NY Post story about a Department of City Planning study into the retail vacancy problem:

    “The long-vacant First National City Bank building on Canal Street and Broadway, for example, boasts 20,000 square feet of untapped commercial space — but only half may be used for retail under zoning rules, and ‘historic district regulations make it difficult to subdivide space,’ per the study.

    ” ‘All the stores have closed down,’ said Jay Chin, manager of Canal Lighting, one of the few area shops still doing a brisk business on a recent Post visit to the strip. ‘Business used to be great in the ’80s, ’90s.’ ”

    The story also notes:

    “Meanwhile, lower Manhattan is flush with deep-pocketed entrepreneurs and is consistently ranked among the city’s safest areas — but the area still suffers from a 13.8 percent vacancy rate.

    “Retailers there want smaller storefronts and are prevented from getting them due to onerous historic district rules, the report found.

    ” ‘While the area is characterized by many large-footprint loft buildings, historic district regulations complicate subdivisions that could create smaller, easier to lease spaces,’ the study said.


    “And while lawmakers have pointed the finger at landlords for keeping storefronts empty as they hold out for higher rents, the study found burdensome regulations and shoddy planning — such as poor transit access, restrictive zoning and onerous parking requirements — are also to blame for the city-wide issue.”