It's been too long since we updated everyone; and let's be real, it's because we're hoping to have dramatic news. Alas, that's not what's happening right now.
Just to be clear: we are 100% on the way to realizing this project. And regardless of where the store opens, the store will open. Perhaps it's a romantic commitment to the corner of 128th and St. Nicholas Terrace; perhaps it's for not having found so perfect a location as that one. Regardless, we have chosen to go long on that space, maintaining contact with the company through an incomprehensible transition of ownership. The current manager of the building is Blue Star Properties, and they say they want to continue negotiating the lease with us... if we can wait for the legal work to be done. They have been saying that, actually, since they took over in January/Feb. We engaged in discussions with them about this transition, and decided to wait it out.
Well, the process is taking SLOW + STEADY to a new level. We are trying to tell ourselves that this is institutional time, meaning that the time scale for a long-term project such as this is longer than, say, the time scale for painting a wall. (One would not let months of planning and waiting go by when painting a wall, or wait for one hardware store to re-stock the masking tape the painter prefers. But these are relatively minor decisions, and the elements of a successful painting project may be obtained at another store. Not so with the location of a business operating under a 10-year lease!)
We are updating at this time because there seems to be some movement in this process, and we didn't want anyone to forget about us. And of course we wanted to reassure everyone that even though we are developing an ulcer about it, everything is going to be fine. We have a lot going for us: time is on our side! We have not spent a dime of cash, except $1500 on a lawyer to help us through this lease. (We were lucky enough to find a real estate specialist around the corner from the store: Tyreta Foster of Foster, Lynch, and Thomas. We would highly recommend this firm if anyone needs a lawyer in Harlem who knows about leases! And we are extremely happy to keep this project local.)
We invite opinions, suggestions, and advice at this time. We are in a holding pattern with regard to the space, but have spoken with other companies about other spaces. Should we pursue another option? Maybe doing so would not be giving up so much as letting go of a fantasy. But SWEETWORK PROJECT is, if nothing else, patient and prone to dreaming!