A building on Broadway that housed a Loehmann’s department store and an ice skating rink in days past will soon house a storage facility.
A spokesperson from retail leaser RKF confirmed that a Storage Deluxe will occupy a portion of the 24,000-square-foot space, along with another retail store yet to be determined.
For some local officials, it is a less-than-desirable use of commercial space on a bustling portion of Broadway.
“Unlike other recent projects along this commercial corridor, a storage facility will neither create a high number of quality jobs for Bronx residents nor contribute to this neighborhood’s vitality,” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said in an e-mail statement. “Though the site is privately owned and can be developed in this way, I am disappointed that this space will not be used in a manner that would be beneficial to our community.”
The building lost its previous occupant when Loehmann’s stores across the country closed for good in March, following years of financial trouble for the company.
Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVC) President Tracy Shelton said she felt the storage facility was “not ideal,” for the Loehmann’s space, given KRVC’s vision of Broadway as a shopping and entertainment destination.
She remained positive, however.
“Perhaps that will be just one component of the space,” she said in an e-mail.
Councilman Andrew Cohen, meanwhile, said he was pleased the space would house a retail space, in addition to the storage facility.
“I am committed to working with my fellow elected officials to ensure that Broadway Corridor continues to develop progressively,” he said in an e-mail.
Some residents of Broadway lamented that the space would not be used to mitigate parking problems on Broadway.
“We’d rather see a big parking garage,” said Alex Castro, who owns the barber shop Cuts of Broadway.
Others had hoped to see a return to the building’s glory days.
“I would have loved it to be an ice skating rink again,” said 22-year-old Julian Zentner, who has lived in the area for 20 years. “But at least they’re doing something with it.”