Adobe Stock / Andrew Bayda

According to The New York Times, the longtime home of the J&R electronics empire is being turned into a luxury housing project knows as 25 Park Row. J&R Music and Computer World closed in 2014 and the site is now slated for a 50-story, 110-unit spire, as the city continues to swap out retail for residential space. “Before, you used to go down to Park Row for one reason, and that was to go to J&R,” said Ariel Cohen, a broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “But now the entire skyline is changing with all these beautiful new buildings.”

More than a century ago, this part of Park Row was thick with newspaper offices, akin to London’s Fleet Street. A surviving relic is No. 41, which was home to The New York Times before it decamped uptown in the early 1900s and which is now part of Pace University.

By 1971, when Joseph and Rachelle Friedman, began selling stereos and eight-track tapes out of leased space at 33 Park Row, aided by gift money from their recent wedding, the area was somewhat seedy, Ms. Friedman said.

But J&R, popular with the area’s stockbrokers and municipal workers, stuck it out, and by the mid-1990s, the company claimed six storefronts. On the side, the Friedmans also became hyper-local real-estate moguls, investing in their first property in the late 1970s,23 Park Row, which at one-time warehoused death certificates and other city documents, Ms. Freidman said.

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