Soon, the burgundy awnings and musty window displays filled with local concert posters and custom frame advertisements that characterized Kaye’s Art Supply for years will disappear from Chapel Street.
Due to a mutual agreement between Kaye’s owner Roy Muraskiewicz and Yale’s University Properties, the lease that had allowed Kaye’s to remain in its current location will not be renewed. Instead, Kaye’s will move to 27 Church St. this month.
“I think it’s a good thing for New Haven because we’re going into a new area that’s developing,” Muraskiewicz said.
With the move, Kaye’s will have greater visibility and more parking spaces available for customers. Because of this, Muraskiewicz said he feels the move will not affect his business financially.
“We feel that our customer base will easily travel over there,” Muraskiewicz said.
After four years in its current location and 50 years of business in New Haven, Muraskiewicz said Kaye’s is ready for a change.
“[The current location is] a very big space, and basically, for our purposes, for a long-term situation, it wouldn’t be suitable,” Muraskiewicz said.
Because of its large size and premium location, University Properties Financial Analyst Andrea Pizziconi said the space Kaye’s currently occupies, as well as the vacant building adjacent to it, would be used to draw two major retailers to the area.
“Such a project would be an important anchor for Chapel Street and will support the positive growth of new retailers along Chapel toward State Street,” Pizziconi said in an e-mail.
Pizziconi added that the needs of Yale students would be taken into consideration when deciding on what retailers University Properties will target for the new location.
Kaye’s relocation is evidence of the continued development in New Haven’s Ward 9 area as well. Artspace, another local art establishment, will also be relocating to the Ward 9 area on April 27.
“I think it’s part of a general development of that area, so that should be good,” said Helen Kauder, executive director of Artspace.
While Muraskiewicz said Yale students make up part of Kaye’s Art Supply’s customer base, he said the success of his business does not depend on its proximity to Yale. He sees customers come in from various parts of New Haven and the surrounding suburbs as well.
Art major Marie Clare D’Errico ’02 said in an e-mail that she did not think the relocation of Kaye’s would affect Yale art students at all.
“I never go there,” D’Errico said. “I don’t think any art majors really do. It’s really expensive.”
Several other art students said they agreed with D’Errico.
“With New York being so close, I think it must be hard for local stores to compete,” art major Benjamin Crotty ’02 said in an e-mail. “By necessity, prices in New Haven aren’t always so great, nor is the selection.”
While Muraskiewicz does not plan to make any significant changes in his store’s current offerings, he said he hopes to expand on custom framing services in the new location.