A Manhattan judge has forced the troubled club Duvet to be closed immediately, following recent allegations that an ex-con security guard assaulted and raped a customer in a club bathroom. It left us wondering what the future holds for the space now that it is saddled with the negative publicity of being a crime scene. Will it impact its value to a new operator? What would a new operator need to do to give the place a fresh start? Rather than try to answer these questions ourselves, why not turn to Steven Kamali, Eater friend and the Godfather of nightlife real estate, to help answer these pressing questions.
The unfortunate truth is that Duvet’s horrible reputation, as well as the local disdain for 21st Street’s nightlife, will undoubtedly create a tremendous detriment in the space’s resale value, as well as present excessive obstacles for the new owners to overcome in order to redevelop Duvet as a viable venue. For the future of Duvet, in particular, the space can’t be utilized as anything but a nightclub due to the large volume of space coupled with the lack of “food” traffic in the area.Excellent points all around. The final question is if this area is too removed from the current centralized nightlife zones, and if anyone really has the stones to open in a space that large.
Since the greatest difficulty is going to be building a positive relationship with the community, the best possible situation would be to find owners who already have a positive relationship with the Community Board and a stellar reputation to begin within the nightlife industry. If an operator did want to plug their nightlife concept into the venue, I would strongly suggest reaching out first and foremost to Community Board members and then of course to the immediate neighbors on the block such as business owners, tenants and landlords.
I personally don’t believe that because a venue is a scene of a crime means that the venue is forever doomed. Sure, it complicates things, but thankfully, people forget, and if the new owners can introduce a revelatory new concept and gut renovate the physical space than New Yorkers will accept the space as its reincarnation and move on.
· Party's Over for Chelsea Trouble Spot [NYPost]
· Steven Kamali [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]