So for a couple of weeks we’ve heard some rumors that some retailers down at Victory were so frustrated by a lack of non-event foot traffic that they were withholding their rents from landlord Hillwood Development. Store owners and managers down their have been hearing the same rumors. Looks like it’s not true. Since many of the stores like G-Star have lease deals where their payments are a percentage of sales, contesting rent doesn’t even make sense.
Certainly some retailers aren’t happy. John Tutolo, owner of Haven, one of the first stores to open at Victory, says there’s certainly a shared frustration among his fellow shopkeeps. Still, he’s confident that the development will take off within another 12 months. Many blame the lack of free parking — not everyone wants to pay for valet just to window shop. (Thing is, they’ve just opened up a few new free parking lots despite all the construction.) Others say it’s just growing pains — West Village went through the same when it opened the doors. Most notably, Kenichi and LFT probably ought to have good leverage when it comes time to renegotiate their lease — the general consensus is that the restaurant and the retail mecca get the real credit for a recent uptick in foot traffic.