It’s progress, damn it!

Moving day (eventually) for Morgan Manhattan

Moving day (eventually) for Morgan Manhattan

Well, change, anyway, which is inevitable. Morgan Manhattan Movers wants to convert its warehouse across from  the bottom of Greenwich Avenue next to the RR tracks to residential and retail use. With the disclosure that I know the owner, Jeff Morgan, and represented him as a lawyer a couple of decades ago when he bought his home on Gilliam Lane (Cobra, Jeff and his family bought the Fuller’s – Ryan’s house), I think the project makes sense.

At the foot of Greenwich Avenue near the intersection with Steamboat Road, the space, Morgan said, can be put to better use than stowing moving vans.

The decision to move the moving company’s operations and develop the property for more commercial purposes had been in the works for nearly a decade, and its roots extended well beyond Morgan’s own lifetime. One of his family’s company’s original warehouses was on West 47th Street in what is now midtown Manhattan. When it was first built, sheep grazed on the other side of the street.

“That warehouse became, ultimately, not the highest and best use for the property,” said Morgan. “Eventually, my great-grandfather sold it in the ’20s to a developer who was building a hotel. That hotel is still there today.

“Our business is a 163 years old, this has happened to us many times over the years.”

Like the Manhattan warehouse, the proposed Bruce Park Avenue project is a product of a changing neighborhood and the new economic opportunities that came with it.

“For quite some time, I’ve been getting phone calls saying that building shouldn’t be a warehouse anymore,” said Morgan. “Over the last 10 years some have (suggested the property’s use as) an office, some have even said car dealership. There have been any number of different suggestions, including, of course, retail.”

The proposed building would house up to four retailers, said Morgan, with three taking up the second floor, where the majority of the floor space is located. A smaller retail space of about 1,000 square feet would be on the first floor.

Storing sofas and refrigerators and parking moving vans in prime retail/residential space really doesn’t make sense, for the property owner or even the town. And the additional 104 parking spaces proposed would help ease the shortage of that amenity down there. I’m sure this will take three years of squawking to get through our zoning process; everything does, these days, but eventually, the warehouse will, or should, go.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “It’s progress, damn it!

  1. Matt

    I agree that it should be put to better use. I’m not sure residential there makes sense, wedged between the train tracks and one of the busiest intersections in town. If you need a good proxy for residential in that area ask Mr Dejesus who lost his shirt a few feet away up the hill. Hope someone will do something really nice there, it’s a great commercial parcel.

  2. Cobra

    Wise decision. Makes sense to convert the warehouse property to another use, perhaps a grand, multi-level expansion of the Cos Cob Revolver & Rifle Club?

  3. cos cobber

    Office space is the highest and best use. Forget second floor retail, that will never work. Ground floor retail is also a stretch here. People park in the middle of the ave and don’t walk to the bottom of the hill to retail shop. Again, offices for boutique hedgies is the best bet here.

  4. Anonymous

    Upscale adult toy store is highest and best use. Just ask Walt.

  5. Flash

    Imagine what a Starbucks could do on that corner!

  6. Sell it to Danny Meyer so he can put a Shake Shack there. That would be awesome.

  7. Anonymous

    i’m hoping chase opens another branch there, because 3 branches on the avenue already is not enough.

  8. observer

    shake shack is an absolutely brilliant idea.

    what’s the story with that old Duge Construction building up the street? looks abandoned for several years now.

  9. dogwalker

    Had the Duge building looked not abandoned prior to several years ago? Just curious. I haven’t noticed any difference in some 20 years except for recent painting of the trim.

    One of the Duge buildings (or one half of the building, not sure) rents the first-floor space and a couple of apartments above. The other had been used for many, many years as . . . ummm . . . “storage”.

  10. Anonymous

    More retail? Condos right next to the train tracks? That parcel screams office space.