The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced the reopening of Turnstyle – the collection of small businesses in the Columbus Circle subway station – on Wednesday, Oct. 14. With colorful murals created by student designers from Publicolor and several members of the Black Artists Collective, including selections by celebrity street artist Gazoo, the block-long retail complex will again feature shopping and a global array of New York food vendors for takeout. All stores at Turnstyle have been retrofitted to ensure proper social distancing. In addition, masks are required while traveling through the corridor, as well as while riding on public transit, and hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the space.
To ensure these businesses are set up for continued success, the MTA will be proposing to the MTA Board this month a package that would provide financial relief to tenants, including those at Turnstyle, until ridership returns. Lease modifications under consideration include a plan to change fixed rent to a structure based on a percentage of business’ revenues and abating a portion of rent payments that had been previously deferred. National chains and banks would be excluded from these modifications.
“The reopening of Turnstyle is an important moment for our customers and for New York City as the economy rebuilds,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. “As we welcome restaurant and retail owners, along with our customers, safety remains a priority - from wearing masks to social distancing. Rebooting our economy will help the MTA and the region recover and we’re delighted to see Turnstyle reopening.”
“Turnstyle is where small business entrepreneurs are able to celebrate their creativity and vision,” said Susan Fine, Turnstyle’s developer. “This is where you will find extraordinary culinary variety, from Russian and Chinese dumplings, to sushi, empanadas, hummus, paella, pizza, bubble tea, and so much more.”