Petco Unleashed on Chambers is closing for good

The Unleashed by Petco on Chambers (just east of McDonald’s) will close for good on May 17, according to a sign on the door (thanks to the tip from V.) and confirmation from the company. While it’s not the same as losing something like Dudley’s Paw, where Yvonne was a neighborhood fixture for nearly three decades, it is a loss of a business that has filled a critical storefront for the past decade. (It opened in November 2010, which shocked me when I looked it up. I feel like it just got there.)

The folks in there were consistently friendly and helpful, and somehow summoned up what seemed like a sincere interest in customers’ pets. And they were great about the curbside pickup these past weeks, managing to find even the most obscure flavors of fancy cat food that I could only describe by the color of the label.

I’ll be heading to Pamper Ur Pets on West Broadway for my dried bonito flakes, for sure.

Here’s the statement from Petco: “At Petco, we’re constantly evaluating our real estate portfolio to ensure locations are conveniently located to best serve our customers. After nearly 10 years of service, the Unleashed by Petco location 157 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007 will close on May 17, 2020. We value the relationships we’ve built with pet parents in the Tribeca community and look forward to continuing to serve them at our other New York City and metro area stores and online at petco.com.”

 

31 Comments

  1. Great. So TriBeCa and the surrounding areas are Pamper Ur Pets closing away from being a pet food desert, like we are Whole Foods and Morgan’s Market closing away from being a human food desert (spare me Hudson and Amish Markets as they are glorified bodegas and no, Trader Joe’s and Key Food are not realistic options as both are too far away for buying perishables.)

    And what is opening in that Unleashed space? How ’bout a grocery store hmmmm? How ridiculous that these landlords are so greedy a chain like Petco can’t even afford the rent there, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Petco closed cuz it was profitable but not as much as they want it to be as they are a corporate chain in the end despite the awesome staff they have who I’m sure/hoping will be reassigned.

    Of course the Dudley’s Paw space and the adjacent spaces are still vacant, no restaurant opening, cuz the idiot son who inherited the building is just that as how are those spots still vacant? What an eyesore that building/corner is.

    Time for us to call Margaret Chin and the Mayor to tell them this intentional vacancy for tax breaks has to stop!!! Take away those tax breaks and these landlords will rent left and right.

    Stellar Management owner of Independence Plaza North is a big culprit in what I call the “vacanization” of TriBeCa.

    • Actually the new landlord of the Dudley’s Paws space is actively trying to fill it. Problem is right now is not a particularly good time for potential tenants to look to spend money for buildout to open in a pandemic. Hoping for a new restaurant there…

    • Actually this persistent false claim of an “intentional vacancy for tax breaks has to stop!!!”

      This rumor makes as little sense as if one were to argue that people intentionally lose their jobs and forgo their salaries so that they can avoid paying income tax. There is no equivalent of “unemployment insurance” payments or tax breaks for the owners of vacant storefronts, and continuing to spread this notion does not make it true.

    • “too far away for buying perishables.” Those are some really perishable perishables!! Guess who has got their empty pantries in a wad again?

    • “Trader Joe’s and Key Food are not realistic options as both are too far away for buying perishables.” Trader Joe’s on Spring St is, for me (I live on Duane), a 7-minute bike ride each way. Yes, loading on the groceries is a hassle, I have to stuff everything into my saddlebags and a daypack, but I’m able to haul quite a lot. Plus, as you say, there’s Morgan’s Market (and our farmer’s market when in season).

      I say this not to brag but to ask sincerely why that wouldn’t work for you. Are you further away from Joe’s? Are you physically challenged? Are you scared of drivers? I think — at least, I want — increased use of bicycles (including electric-assist) to be part of how we regain and rebuild our city, so I’m interested in hearing from people who don’t feel that’s an option for them. Hope you’ll reply.

      • Very happy you can bike, you should be very proud of yourself, but can you really NOT see how biking would be a challenge for most people? For starters someone, and hold your hat because there’s a lot of these in tribeca, that has young children. And if someone did have children they’d need a lot more groceries that you can put in your backpack and handlebars. What about someone who works a lot, someone that doesn’t have storage for a bicycle? The time to and fro the citibike location adds to your 7 minutes each way, as does the time in the store and don’t citibikes have to be back in 45 minutes?

        Again, that’s great that this works for you, but it’s not feasible for a majority of tribecans

        • So you want a real, complete SuperDupermarket?

        • You seriously think that CitiBikes can only be used for 45 minutes? That would be the worst business model…ever.

        • Hi @Good For You. Thanks for your reply.

          Unless you’re physically challenged, I think you may be over-estimating the difficulty of grocery-shopping with a bike. But it’s gonna have to be your bike (not Citibike), not just to circumvent the 45-min time limit but b/c you’re gonna want panniers (saddlebags that fit on the rear rack) to carry 90% of your load.

          Assuming you’re not a single parent, you’ll likely have a free hour (allowing time to wheel out your bike, ride to Trader Joe’s, shop, pack the saddlebags, etc.) once or twice a week.

          The real challenge is getting started — including buying the bike and figuring out where to keep it. Trans Alt can help you, ditto Bike NY, ditto yours truly. My main point is that once you’re past that initial hurdle and all set up, you’ll likely find it easier than you now imagine. And for me, biking for groceries beats pushing a cart or hauling the bags.

          Good luck. Pls reach out if you’d like more hands-on advice.

    • @EnoughIsEnough: What are the specific tax breaks that landlords get for keeping stores vacant?

    • Dare I say this? Target has a pretty large grocery section downstairs.

  2. No! Dudley’s Paw and now this? We went to this store often, my dog loved going in and getting treats. Sad to see it go. We need more pet stores in the neighborhood. Everyone in Tribeca has a dog.

  3. This is a huge loss, but sadly not surprising. How much dog/cat food do you need to sell to make a massive space like that work? The margins are just too small.

  4. The greedy landlord argument really doesn’t apply to many of our local storefronts. Yes, it does apply to some, but not every one. There is not much foot traffic in Tribeca, the stores and deep with narrow frontages. Retailers seek the location because of the name, but soon realize there is not much business here. Stand on Reade Street, or Duane, or Warren and count the amount of foot traffic. Not much.

    • As the “greedy” landlord of that space – let me be the first to tell you this had nothing to do with rent. In fact Petco had the option to continue at their lease at the same rent or offer to negotiate a lower rent which we would have been open to. Our company as long term owners strive to find the best tenants that will become fixtures in neighborhoods not the highest paying tenants. Will be a difficult time for all those in the real estate business to back fill vacant retail spaces. Note, that this building in particular does not currently allow for food use.

  5. I’m sad to hear about this closing.
    Gourmet Garage isn’t too far and has been fully stocked these past months..a much better experience then Whole Foods.

  6. I guess it’s back to Chewy’s. I opted instead to support Unleashed for all these years, and enjoyed that store immensely. I’m terribly sorry to see it close.

  7. try delivery from a local merchant instead of the doggie version of Amazon

  8. For those people that used to patronize Unleashed, please consider the three remaining local Pet Shops: Le Pet Spa on South End Avenue, Petropolis on Greenwich and Seaport Paw on Peck Slip. All three offer Grooming (or will when they are able to resume full operations). Le Pet Spa is open Wed-Sat from 10:30 – 6:00, Petropolis is open on Friday for curbside pick up (contact them to order) and Seaport Paw is reopening this weekend with Saturday and Sunday hours from 10-5. More details on my FiDi Fan Page on Facebook. We need to keep as many brick and mortar stores as we can and every little bit helps.

  9. The store was bound to close. For the most part the staff were friendly. I remember Edgar, the best dog trainer and employee they had! He still trains dogs in Tribeca. No local trainer could match him. I came across him on instagram siriok9
    I will continue to train my dog with him!

  10. Pamper Ur Pets is AWFUL. A rip off, the food is stale, and overpriced. Who wants to open up a pet store with me in the local area?

  11. Funny how people here complain about not supporting local businesses, attack TC/Pam for covering Starbucks/chain stores, yet bemoan the loss of Unleashed/Petco and won’t support a local store like Pamper Ur Pets.

    Make up your damn minds, please. Which is it?

  12. Let’s just get rid of all chain stores and live with paying the higher prices of the mom & pops, cuz it just feels good to pay more…for food, services, housing, and taxes. It just does.

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