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When the building housing Pearl Paint went up for sale earlier this month, with the promise in the listing that it could be "delivered vacant", things weren't looking good for the one of the best art supply stores in the city, which had been at that address for five decades and had been a neighborhood shop for more than 80 years altogether. And on April 17, its iconic red gates closed for good—but employees and longtime customers couldn't believe it.
"It's devastating," a salesman who did not reveal his identity said to the Tribeca Trib. "They just broke up a whole family unit here. People I've been working with for years...the people running this place don't even understand its history and the artists who shopped here."
"Pearl Paint was part of my life for many years. I don't remember never coming here." said 61-year-old Brooklyn artist Peter Borstein, who stopped in during the final days to pick up supplies during the closing sale. "It was a member of the family."
"It's like you're going through your dying grandmother's house," he added upon exiting. "This is heartbreaking."
There's no word on whether the building has yet sold, but it's likely that they won't keep the existing colorful structure. Tribeca Citizen noted in the listing: "Due to the sizable floor plates, phenomenal location for retail (Canal) and residential (Lispenard), the building offers a great opportunity for a developer, investor and/or user."
· All Sales Final: The Last Days of Pearl Paint, a Tribeca Institution [Tribeca Trib]
· Pearl Paint Has Indeed Closed [Tribeca Citizen]
· Where to Get Crafty in NYC, From Supply Stores to Classes [Racked NY]