NYC vintage clothing supplier forced to move again

Visiting the top floor of 30-10 41st Street in Long Island City, Queens, is like stepping into a time machine.

"We have 1,300 1930s dresses, we have over 1,000 Victorian dresses, we have over 4,500 hats, so probably over 50,000 outfits at least," said Helen Uffner, the owner of Helen Uffner Vintage Clothing

For decades, Helen Uffner Vintage clothing has rented out clothing to production companies. Her pieces have been worn in some of the most noteworthy movies and by some of the most noteworthy actors – Scarlett Johansson, Beyoncé, and Tom Hanks. 

The loft is about 5,000 square feet, filled with aisles of vintage clothing dating as far back as the early 1800s. All of it could soon be gone, though. Uffner said the new landlord, LargaVista, asked her to leave by the end of February.

"They're developing the building, so they want everybody out," Uffner said.

Uffner said that LargaVista hiked her rent from just over $6,500 a month to more than $8,000 a month.

What is worse, Uffner said, is that this is the second time this has happened. About three years ago, she was kicked out her location in the Garment District. The move cost her about $50,000.

"I can't move from place to place every three years so that makes it hard," Uffner said.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Hundreds of small businesses across New York have been forced out of their buildings by landlords due to redevelopment.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for LargaVista said the company is willing to help Uffner with her relocation.

"We are sympathetic to her situation. She has had a long and illustrious career. She has been a month-to-month tenant since they bought the building last year," the spokeswoman said. "She has always known that she would have to vacate. They are bringing the building into the 21st century."