Students give low marks to high Broadway prices

With the latest entry to the Broadway retail area now open, many students say they welcome the upscale additions, but they are not ready to welcome the upscale prices.

Urban Outfitters, the apparel-and-houseware chain found near many other Ivy League campuses, opened Saturday. It was the third store to open in recent weeks, following the opening of the 21 Broadway restaurant and the Gourmet Heaven convenience store.

These new tenants complement the addition last year of Ivy Noodle, a noodle shop near Park Street, and Whimsels, the crepe and ice cream shop, on York Street.

“I really do like [the changes] and a lot of people I talk to do as well,” Jesse Markman ’04 said. “If people walked around here, they might have an idea that New Haven might be a fun place.”

Other students, like Sergio Rivas ’02, appreciate the convenience of the new restaurants.

That both 21 Broadway and Gourmet Heaven “are 24 hours is a definite plus,” Rivas said.

But a major complaint among students who have visited the new shops, in addition to similar Broadway shops that opened years ago, has been about price.

“I don’t go to Origins. I’m not going to buy $28 shampoo,” Tobin Ost DRA ’01 said.

The upscale cosmetics and fragrance shop opened in 1998.

Exiting Urban Outfitters, Zoe Konovalov ’01 felt the store was a welcome spot, but not necessarily to buy things.

“It’s fun to walk around, but I wouldn’t shop in there,” Konovalov said. “Students would appreciate a few more affordable options.”

Yale’s University Properties, which owns most of the Broadway-area property, plans to bring Alexia Crawford, a New York-based women’s fashion accessories designer, to one of the vacant Broadway storefronts, and is in talks to bring additional retailers and restaurants to the area, University Properties Director John Maturo said.

“We’re just looking for the best opportunities for the students,” Maturo said.

But Kristin Taylor ’04 had different suggestions for what would fit.

“I don’t think we need anymore restaurants or any overpriced retailers of any sort,” Taylor said.

Maturo said he felt the changes are bringing benefits to the local community beyond Yale. He pointed to a recent afternoon visit to Gourmet Heaven, where he saw some local fire fighters patronizing the store.

“It’s a happy note that we’re seeing a mixed community in these stores,” Maturo said.

Construction in the Broadway retail district continues after the recent openings of Gourmet Heaven and 21 Broadway. An upscale boutique from Manhattan will occupy a space beside the newly opened Urban Outfitters.
Joseph Price
Construction in the Broadway retail district continues after the recent openings of Gourmet Heaven and 21 Broadway. An upscale boutique from Manhattan will occupy a space beside the newly opened Urban Outfitters.

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