NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the failure of the metro, companies are suffering underground and near transit stops.
A few weeks ago, the Turnstyle Underground Market on Columbus Circle reopened.
Once upon a time there was a busy place.
“It usually bounces,” customer Lynne Wu told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
However, 20 of the 39 market stores are now closed.
“It’s like every other place is closed,” said Wu.
Gainer checked in on Tuesday while they were still running.
“We’re still ordering catering,” said one employee.
Donuttery and EZ Paella can also deliver personally.
“It’s better,” said one employee.
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, of the 392 retail spaces in various locations, 72 have become vacant since the coronavirus pandemic began. 24 of them are located at the Grand Central Terminal.
However, the agency notes that not every vacancy is due to the pandemic.
It’s mostly empty over in the dining hall at Grand Central.
The legendary Oyster Bar is closed for the time being. Some shoe shine and repair areas are covered.
“I went home and said to my husband, ‘You won’t believe how it is. ‘I mean, we’re both New Yorkers. We know this area and he said: Oh because they closed the oyster bar? ‘And I said,’ No, everything’s closed downstairs, ‘said Ruth Callahan of the Upper West Side.
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The obvious problem is a lack of pedestrian traffic, but there are some people who actually go there just to go to certain businesses, Gainer reported.
“We’ve been here since 1952,” said Steve Kivel, president of Grand Central Watch.
A line formed outside of Grand Central Watch while CBS2 was there. The metal gates pull down to cover displays, but they do business, if not as personal as the 100 customers a day they used to see.
“Well, probably about 15 coming in,” said Kivel. “Still do things in the mail. We have wholesale accounts so we will survive, but at the end of the day we will miss our people. “
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Next door at the Grand Central Racquet: “We used to have almost 15 racquets a day and now it’s maybe three or four,” said stringer technician Eusebio Pinto.
The store also has other locations to fill the void, but the customers who are still around are saddened that so many others have had to close the store for good.
Last month, the MTA announced a financial relief plan for the duration of the pandemic for these companies, moving from a fixed rent system to a percentage rent system. When a company is successful, the MTA only receives a percentage of its sales.
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