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What if East 14th Street Was the Next West 14th Street?

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Left, 14th Street at Avenue A; Right, 14th Street at Ninth Avenue
Left, 14th Street at Avenue A; Right, 14th Street at Ninth Avenue

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EV Grieve brought it to our attention that a ton of storefronts along East 14th Street have recently shuttered. Many of the closed shops were of the discount variety—Bargain Bazaar and a 99 cent store among them—as well as a few pet spots, including an animal hospital and Petland. Meanwhile, the local post office might close, leaving an even bigger stretch of real estate open and you know what that means in this city: luxury condos 'n shopping.

After the jump, our wild speculations for the next stage of East 14th Street.

2013
A super cool restaurant specializing in "new Chinese" opens far east (get it?), maybe closer to Avenue C. They have a sexy downstairs that attracts a fashionable, taste-making crowd on Thursdays, then Saturdays, then Tuesdays. More cabs with Robert Clergerie-heeled girls are being hailed east than ever.

Three friends—a South American DJ, an ex-Bergdorf junior buyer, and a Tumblr style star—open a small storefront and paint it a sorbet orange color. There is no proper signage. They stock brands from around the world that you can't find anywhere else in the city and carry everything from Danish graph paper to fine jewelry designed in Cape Town. It gets written up by every blog—including this one. A week before it opens, throws an opening party where Chloe Sevigny rap battles Zosia Mamet, and is cemented as a destination of "the new East-East Village."

2014
Two more retail outposts open: a gourmet prepared foods store owned by the "new Chinese" restaurant, and a re-located Williamsburg boutique. Construction begins on a hotel that is rumored to have a mud spa and a three-tiered roof deck.

2015
An art gallery has opened (the receptions are legendary), the hotel is almost finished, and there are a bunch of new restaurants and bars drawing people to the 'hood. A leather accessories designer from Panama opens near the little orange boutique (the designer is friends with the DJ) and is quickly tapped by Opening Ceremony for a collab.

2016
Timo Weiland opens their first boutique near the little orange store and the accessory designer's shop. Shortly thereafter, a J.Crew men's store opens, then a Jack Spade, and that's when the domino effect sets off: H&M does a collab with Band of Outsiders and there's a two-week pop up, Urban Outfitters signs their eighteenth Manhattan lease, a skincare/apothecary/wellness boutique based in Portland debuts, and for some reason Adidas will be opening a three-floor store of which part is a gym. A luxury high-rises apartment building has opened, but it has a Stumptown cafe in the lobby and lots of velvet couches so there's almost always good people watching. The hotel soft-opens in the fall, with a gift shop that sells terrariums and local peanut butter.

2017
The area has its own section in the Not For Tourists guidebooks. The hotel is full-fledged open—there's a made-to-measure shirting company on the ground level and the rooftop nightclub serves all of its shots in test tubes. Apparently Madonna works out at the Adidas gym slash store.
· The Disappearing Storefronts of East 14th Street [EV Grieve]
· A Brief History of MePa Retail From McQueen to Lululemon [Racked NY]