With three months to go until the completion of renovations on Sheinkin, the once-trendy Tel Aviv street is flourishing again with new stores and businesses popping up, many in the last few days.
The street, which recently reopened to traffic after repairs had blocked it for months, already has 15 new stores, with 49 more businesses approved and 22 applications pending, according to city officials.
Among the new businesses slated to open are a hair salon, gym, pharmacy, hat factory, laundromats and food stores. There will also be service providers, including a dental laboratory, print shop and electronics repair center. Most of the new stores are clothing shops, with an emphasis on local designers and small import stores, as opposed to chain stores. The new crop includes three men’s clothing stores, a store for baby clothes and one shop specializing in magnets. There is also a culinary school.
The owners of the new businesses are optimistic about the street’s reconstruction, and hope that the pedestrian mall that is planned will begin operating soon. “We opened on Sheinkin Street because that brand is still significant,” said Helen Dukat, who opened a jewelry store on the street together with her husband.
Koby Ben-Yishai, the manager of a new men’s clothing store, Le Coq, believes that Sheinkin will become stronger commercially. “Even though many people are unhappy with the change in the street’s character – from a bohemian Tel Aviv street to a street where more people from outside the city come to shop – that’s actually a very positive thing for the stores,” he says. “In the end, people from Tel Aviv don’t shop here. The main shoppers are the people who come from outside the city. The important thing now is that the pedestrian mall be opened as soon as possible, during the summer, when people go out.”
Sheinkin's popularity has declined over the past few years with the influx of brand name and large chain stores.
Many hope that the opening of new stores featuring items by Israeli designers will help restore the street's unique character. “I hope that these new, special stores will change things,” said Yuval Abramovitz, the owner of the magnet store. Abramovitz got together with 12 other business owners to organize special events to take place on the street. They plan to launch a publicity campaign for the street when it reopens in the fall. “Soon we will ask other businesses to join us, and later on we may hold joint sales. We’ll also organize so that we can work together with the municipality.”
“When the renovations are completed in October, the municipality will prepare an advertising and promotions campaign for the opening of the newly renovated street,” said a municipality official.