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Retail Ghosts

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New York shut down the Off-Track Betting Corporation last December, but many of the old OTB parlors remain. Haunted by bad lighting and worse financial decisions, the spaces are falling into disrepair, and landlords can't find new tenants. Even a prime spot like the one on Second Avenue between 52nd and 53rd in East Midtown is having trouble. The real estate company marketing the shop has wrapped it in vinyl siding showcasing a restaurant and boutique. "I don't mind telling people that it's a former OTB," says an exec "But I don't want them to see it was an OTB when they're standing in front of it, because it was so God-ugly." [NYT]