Electronics giant and New York City stalwart J&R recently had people wondering whether their Park Row store was nearing its end. But today, they announced on their site that they're closing their doors only to reopen them next year after a serious facelift.
"A lot has changed in these 43 years, including not only the way we listen to music and the technology products we sell, but the way people shop and socialize," founders Joe and Rachelle Friedman wrote in an open letter. "In fact, this entire Lower Manhattan area is changing dramatically, finally ready to blossom after 12 difficult rebuilding years.
"On April 10th, J&R will close its doors so we can rebuild this location into what we hope will be an unprecedented retailing concept and social mecca. In order to facilitate this exciting new initiative, the buildings that J&R occupies have to be totally reimagined and redeveloped."
There's currently no further detail about what this "unprecedented retail concept" and "social mecca" will entail, but J&R plans to roll out more information in the coming months. And that rendering above is likely not the final version—the Daily News reports that the owners are still looking for partners for the redevelopment effort.
And certain staff members don't sound very hopeful at all. "It's very, very heartbreaking," an unnamed person told NY1. "I've only been working here for eight months, but I feel like I've been working here for years. The staff was small, but it felt like a family. I might never see these guys again. It's tough."
It's the first time since its 1971 inception that the company has not had a brick-and-mortar presence, the Times observes. Thanks to Tribeca Citizen for first alerting us to this story.
· Park Row Redevelopment [J&R]
· What's Really Happening at J&R [Tribeca Citizen]
· Discontinued? [Racked NY]