A Uno will move after 20 years on Duane

The lovely women’s clothing store A Uno, which has dominated the storefront scene in Tribeca on what has to be one of the most prominent corners in the neighborhood, will move to the Village sometime in the next several months. This is a huge blow, not only because of the little shopping I do, I mostly do there, but because owner Ann Benedetto has been such a great neighbor for two decades. (F. spotted the bad news first — the For Rent sign on the window.)

Not only are her windows always styled and lively, they are also dressed for the holidays, especially on Halloween. But she also founded the neighborhood’s first and only business organization — the Tribeca Alliance Partnership — as a way to promote and protect Tribeca retail.

As for why she’s leaving, the reason is twofold — covid and rent. She had already been noodling the idea of moving before the pandemic: her rent, including real estate taxes, is $17,500 a month — an ungodly sum. On University and 9th, which also happens to be around the corner from her house, her rent will be closer to $9k.

Plus there’s covid. She estimates that sales and foot traffic are down to a half or even a third.

“Covid really dealt us the death blow,” said Ann. “We had to find a rent that was more reasonable We went to every grant and SBA loan and everything possible — at least that put us in a position where we could move.”

After a career in manufacturing and importing, Ann opened her first store on Spring Street in 1992. She stayed there for 12 years, opening the second one here in 2002. At the time she was carrying a premiere line, Marithé + François Girbaud, that was doing so well they decided to open their own store. That’s what drove her to open another — that plus some good real estate.

“I fell in love with the store,” she said. “I fell in love with the corner. I fell in love with the windows. At the time, we were surrounded by restaurants. Now, of course, they’re banks.”

The new store will be called A Uno New York (or as Ann said, jokingly, A Uno Finalmente) and should be ready for the spring collections in February. She’s a bit concerned that her customers won’t follow, but her shops have always been destination retail. “The truth is I started on Spring Street and they followed me here. I hope they will follow me again.”

 

12 Comments

  1. Nooooooooooooooo!

  2. I will follow Ann, Ruthy, Olga to the Village. Not only has A Uno been my favorite boutique for 20 years, these folks have become my friends. I will miss passing by and waving but will be seeing them uptown. The rents in our neighborhood need to moderate…we’re losing the best of the best every day.

  3. It would be interesting to learn what portion of the rent is RE taxes. The building is a coop, so the portion that she pays may not be available, but if you own in Tribeca you know that RE taxes have skyrocketed. Someone has to pay, and stores pay a share of those taxes. We need services, where does the money come for those services. It is a shame that these wonderful neighbors/stores bear such a heavy burden.

  4. rent out of whack

  5. Very sad news indeed, another Tribeca loss. Wishing her all the best.

  6. Ann is wonderful, and we’ll miss her. We’ll also miss her Niki, one of our neighborhood’s noblest and most beautiful shop dogs.

  7. Sad to hear. These rents are unsustainable.

  8. I remember after 9/11, Tribeca was a ghost town because nobody was going down there and businesses closed, but thanks to new restaurants, stores, residential buildings that were built, day care places and the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca became a great neighborhood again. That is until the landlords got greedy and businesses went out – AGAIN!

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