Gold Leaf Stationers is located on the ground floor of a co-op at 201 West 89th Street. Recently, store owner Fasil Yilma was paying $12,500 for the space. Between this high rent, falling revenues and ever-growing competition, Gold Leaf was recently on the verge of closing. That is, until the co-op board decided to do something about it (story first reported by Crain’s New York).
After a meeting, the co-op board decided to cut his rent by $3,000, and to cap future increases on his portion of the building’s real estate taxes.
“This type of store adds value to the fabric of the community. It was a no-brainer to give him a rent break.”
He also added that a vacancy would have cost them much more than a decreased rent from their retail tenant.
Yilma started working at Gold Leaf in 2000 … when it went by the name “Pen and Ink”. He is now the sole owner. Faced with the challenge of new chain stores popping up in the area, Yilma’s strategy has been to diversify the store’s product lines and to develop meaningful relationships with his customers, 85% of whom are repeat customers.
He has certainly done a lot of things right. Gold Leaf’s reviews on Google are a 4.8 out of 5 stars, a 4.5 on Yelp, and a 9 out of 10 on Mapquest.
Learn more about Gold Leaf Stationers on their website, here.