Canal Street: A Counterfeiting Urban Renewal

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Two restaurateurs in New York City, Tom and Anthony Martignetti announced this month that they are opening a new restaurant on Canal Street. The interesting thing about this new, unnamed restaurant is that it is set to be located right in the middle of Canal Street’s “Counterfeit Triangle” district. A few years ago, this group of storefronts was a hub for all things counterfeit, until a major raid by law enforcement officials in 2008. The estimated value of the raid was over $1 million. According to a NY Times article, the stores were required “to replace the counterfeit vendors with legitimate businesses and pay a substantial fine to the city before the buildings can be reopened.” Last year the property owners agreed to pay the city for the right to reopen them.

(Image taken from NY Times article)

The community of downtown residents fully supports the addition of such a positive establishment. The new restaurant is certainly contributing to an urban renewal of Canal Street. From a street full of 32 criminally run bodegas, Canal Street is starting to perk up. With the “Counterfeit Triangle” gone, the destroyed brick storefronts are slowly looking more optimistic. Criminal activity has decreased making the neighborhood much safer and allowing businesses to move in that can actually contribute to the economy instead of take away jobs and taxes from New York City. We are excited to see the changes Canal Street will endure over the next few years as it tries to rebuild and become more appealing to the community.

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