Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
While we were composing our Upper West Side map, we realized that it's been a while since we've looked in on the enigma that is the unopened UWS Custo Barcelona space. We may be able to shed some light on this mystery, though: Turns out Custo owns that entire corner building. Back in 2005, with money free-flowing, Custo Barcelona purchased all of 240 Columbus Avenue, meaning the ground floor retail space for the label's second Manhattan outpost and the 9 residential units above the store. At the time, there was a burgeoning trend for retailers to purchase entire buildings as investment properties.
As an omen of times to come, Custo put the space back onto the rental market two years later and it has remained a ghost town ever since. At least Custo is making some of its investment back on the residential units and using the façade as free advertising. We'll be keeping an eye on the space, as who knows what 2010 will bring—a new retailer or an actual Custo opening. If the Great Recession is really ending, watch out: It's possible that your next landlord could be Ed Hardy.
· The State of the Upper West Side: Empty Storefronts [Racked]
· Storecasting [Racked]
· RackedWire: No Custo Barcelona for the UWS [Racked]