Symphony Cleaners found itself in a quandary. It wanted to rent a shop in the lobby of a new apartment building on West 23rd Street, but the landlord refused to divide the 2,000-square-foot space.
“We figured the cleaning business could support the rent for the whole store-but it didn’t need the whole store,” says Bruce Sinder, president of Sinvin Realty, who represented the landlord and the tenant.
The cleaner needed only about 800 square feet. What to do with the rest? Tye and Hedi Cho, the owners of Symphony Cleaners, which has eight locations in Manhattan, came up with a creative solution.
Mrs. Cho is an artist, and the Chelsea location gave her the idea to open a gallery in the remaining space. That would satisfy the landlord, and the gallery could look to the cleaners for help paying the rent.
The idea was approved, and the stores, which are scheduled to open this spring, will have separate entrances from one vestibule.
“it’s a novel idea,” Mr. Sinder says. “It’s probably the only dry cleaner in New York where you can bring in your dry cleaning and go to a show.”