Thief steals credit card from building on E. 13th St., then shops at Target

Oct11 Target theft suspect

Theft suspect at Target

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a thief who stole a Visa credit card from a building on East 13th Street and First Avenue and then spent $327, using the card at Target.

Police released the information this week although the incident occurred on Sunday, September 14 at 8 a.m. Police say the man got into the lobby of the building where the 31-year-old victim lives and took the credit card although it wasn’t clear how he got in or if he swiped the card from a mailbox or an open area where mail was lying around. He then headed to the Target store at East 14th Street and Avenue A.

The suspect is a light-skinned man who appears to be in his 20s and tall. He was last seen wearing a white baseball cap, a black tee-shirt with “thumbs up” written on the front and light gray jeans and white sneakers.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at Nypdcrimestopppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Target’s East Village store drew controversy on its opening weekend

The new Target on East 14th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Popular chain store Target caused controversy at the opening of the new East Village store at the end of last month because of their homage to former dive bar and music club CBGB and ultimately apologized for the marketing stunt, the New York Times reported at the end of last week.

The new store opened on East 14th Street between Avenues A and B with grand opening festivities on the weekend of July 21 with a vinyl facade depicting tenements and old storefronts, including CBGB, with “TRGT” in the bar’s classic font on the temporary overhang.

Jeremiah Moss, whose blog Vanishing New York and book of the same name document gentrification in the city, called the display a “deplorable commodification of local neighborhood culture” and expressed disgust over the fake storefronts.

“The façade is draped in vinyl sheets printed with images of tenements, the same sort of buildings that get demolished to make room for such developments,” Moss wrote. “Here they sit, hollow movie-set shells, below the shiny windows of the high-end rentals. They are the dead risen from the grave, zombies enlisted to work for the corporation.”

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Female pick-pockets steal wallet at Flatiron restaurant

Pick-pocketing suspects

Police are looking for two women who worked together to steal a wallet from a woman eating dinner at a restaurant on Park Avenue South.

On Saturday, August 19 at around 8 p.m., the two suspects were sitting at a table at Farmer and the Fish near a 56-year-old woman whose purse was draped over the back of her chair. Both the suspects took turns reaching into the victim’s purse and one of them was able to get her wallet. The pair then left.

An hour and a half later, the victim’s credit card was used to by over $1,500 worth of merchandise at a Target at 445 Gold Street in Brooklyn.

Both suspects are heavy black women, one with blond hair, who was last seen wearing a dress, the other with black hair, last seen wearing a black baseball cap, a t-shirt and jeans.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Tenants Association asks Blackstone to keep Associated in Stuy Town

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With the future of Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket once again up in the air, following Morton Williams’ decision not to sign a lease for the space, the ST-PCV Tenants Association has asked Blackstone to let the Associated stay.

The request was made over the Tenants Association’s concern that with a Trader Joe’s store as well as a Target eventually moving across the street from Stuyvesant Town, Blackstone would no longer feel obligated to keep an affordable supermarket in the complex, as the owner had committed to previously. But, the TA is arguing, Trader Joe’s, with its unusual and somewhat curated range of products, doesn’t offer a “complete grocery experience.”

The plea was made via a letter from Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg to Stuyvesant Town’s General Manager Rick Hayduk on Monday.

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Residents mixed on plan for Target to open on East 14th

Target has signed a lease for a space at what is now a construction site across from Stuyvesant Town. Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Target has signed a lease for a space at what is now a construction site across from Stuyvesant Town. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Recently, a plan to open a Target store on East 14th Street at the future residential development that’s now a construction site between Avenues A and B, was made public. The news, first reported by the Real Deal, also mentioned that the store to open at the site, which is leased by Extell Development, will be smaller than most of the other Target locations.

This week, Town & Village asked around in Stuyvesant Town for residents’ thoughts on the neighborhood’s first big box store. Responses were, as expected, mixed, though most of the people interviewed indicated they would shop there.

Stuy Town resident Kay Vota noted, “I think it’s wonderful. Their prices are very reasonable. You can’t go anywhere else for those prices.” Still, she expressed some concern about competition for the surrounding existing businesses.

“What’s going to happen to the Associated?” asked Vota.

Another resident said she was concerned about the supermarket as well. The woman, who said she was one of Stuy Town’s first black residents, declined to share her name, explaining that with the low rent she pays, she doesn’t like to remind the landlord that she exists.

“Forget Target,” she said. “I want to keep the Associated. Will Target be selling food? Associated is more important. They got rid of (Stuy Town’s) D’Agostino. Will we be importing our food soon?”

The woman also said she had no need for the business. “I don’t want to rush to Target to buy any new things. It wouldn’t be helping me.”

Asked if she’d shop there, another resident, Elvina Oey, told T&V, “Probably yes. Because the closest one to us is the one in Brooklyn.” As for what she’d get there, Oey guessed, “Household cleaners, cleaning supplies like paper towels and soaps. That kind of stuff.”

An original tenant and retired cop who would only give his first name, Thomas, had conflicting views. On the one hand, when asked if he’d shop there, Thomas responded “yes,” but then said he was worried the store would become a destination for non-locals and end up raising crime stats in the neighborhood.

“I see the Target bringing crime,” said Thomas, whose beat was his own neighborhood. “Target’s going to, I feel, have a major shoplifting problem. It’s going to be one of those things where we’ll see what happens.” He added that he’d prefer to see a Trader Joe’s in the space, which according to rumors, is also in talks for a retail space at the Extell site.

A 15-year-old resident, Daniel, also gave the plan a thumbs down, figuring it would just lead to crowding.

“I don’t think it’s going to be good,” he said. “It’s going to bring a bunch of people in here. People are going to walk through the property and it’s going to get congested.”

One couple also said they were not looking forward to the big bull’s-eye’s arrival and guessed the future residents of the building to house it wouldn’t want it either.

“I wonder what the tenants paying high rent think about having a Target below them,” said Peter Harris. “They’re definitely getting hit with high rents.” He added, “As a small business owner, I’d be concerned. It’s going to knock out some of the little places.”

Harris’ wife, Frances, added, “I don’t like that part of it” and said she thought it was “too bad” about a major fire at the location in 2010 that displaced five small business storefronts. Frances also said if the store ends up bringing more foot traffic to the area, “I wouldn’t like it. And I wonder if it would take a lot of parking spaces away from us.”

Meanwhile, one neighbor of the construction site, who said he lives in the next building over, had this to say: “I don’t care much either way.” The resident, Zac Hoffman, who’s lived in his apartment for the last two years, seemed more irked about the ongoing construction noise, which, he pointed out, starts every day at 7 a.m. Hoffman isn’t planning to move though, explaining that rents have gone up significantly since he last had to look. So, when asked if he’d give the new inconvenience store some business, Hoffman answered, “Probably.”

Target does however have a supporter in Susan Steinberg, president of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

“I’m for it,” she said. “As long as it’s not a Walmart.”

A spokesperson for Target declined to comment on what the new store would offer, only confirming that a lease had been signed, “contingent on approvals.”

UPDATE: The company has released further details on the store, which is expected to open in 2018.

The Real Deal reported the lease is for 30 years and the location is at the corner of Avenue A.

East 14th Street Target slated to open in 2018

Rendering of Target slated for East 14th Street at Avenue A

Rendering of Target slated for East 14th Street at Avenue A

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Target representatives confirmed this week that a store will be opening in the retail space at the Extell Development on the corner of Avenue A at 500 East 14th Street. The “flexible format” store, which is expected to open in summer 2018, will reportedly be “tailored to meet the needs” of city dwellers by offering home items for decorating small living spaces, as well as grab-and-go food selections.

The store will also offer men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, health, personal care and beauty products and portable technology products.

In a press release on Wednesday, the company said the flexible store design allows Target to open locations in smaller retail spaces and the company is focusing on growth in the urban market, with 23 flexible-format stores currently open throughout the country and more planned for this and next year, including in Forest Hills, Queens and downtown Brooklyn.

“We want to make it easier for guests in New York to shop at Target, so we’re focused on flexible-format store growth in Manhattan,” said Mark Schindele, senior vice president for Properties at Target. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Extell Development for this terrific location just below Stuyvesant Town, and we can’t wait to be part of the East Village neighborhood.”

The new store on East 14th Street will include 27,000 square feet on two levels, with 9,500 square feet at street level and 17,700 feet on the lower level.