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For Spaceboy, staying adaptable comes with the territory in Wilmington

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By Alex Vuocolo

When Spaceboy Clothing heard that The Buccini/Pollin Group planned to renovate 711 N. Market Street- its home in Wilmington since 2014 – the custom t-shirt shop and community space wasn’t ready to make the big move.

“We weren’t prepared financially to move,” said David Sanchez, owner and co-founder with Noah Gabriel. “We sort of had to wing it.”

Luckily for Spaceboy a location opened up across the street at 706 N. Market Street. The landlord, the Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD), was looking for a new tenant after Jerry’s Artarama decamped for Newark.

Renovating the former art supply store was expensive work. The new space is larger and equipped with a 14-foot wide stage for musical performances and comedy shows.

“We just about drained our bank account to get this space up and running,” said Gabriel.

This isn’t the first time that Buccini/Pollin, one of Wilmington’s largest property owners, has pushed Spaceboy out of its current location. In 2014, the store was forced to move from 617 Market Street to 711 N. Market Street, due to construction as well.

But Sanchez maintains a positive view of the relationship, which was always bound up in Wilmington’s shifting real estate market.

“In a way, I can’t really complain too much. They knew we didn’t want to move downtown, so they pretty much gave us this space for nothing,” said Sanchez, referring to their first move out of Elsmere. Over the years, he added, Buccini never raised the rent.

As for downtown Wilmington, Sanchez anticipates even more changes in the years ahead. For Spaceboy, the hope is to remain an important part of Market Street and they city. He would also like to expand to Newark, Philadelphia or Middletown.

“I don’t think the price is going to stay the same,” Sanchez said. “We’re locked in for the next three years, but who knows what’s going to happen after that?”

On Saturday night, March 2, Spaceboy Clothing will celebrate the grand opening of its new location and the first performance on its new stage. More information is available here: http://www.spaceboyclothing.com/events

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