I don't know much about the laundry biz but I do know that the place that I go to get my dry cleaning also serves as a laundromat. The people always look bored and are either just sitting waiting or outside in their cars. There is no food place or anything next door, its just a stand alone building. Maybe make it more of like a fun place to go where time will fly by. Have like plasma TV's playing movies/shows. Wifi would be great. Maybe incorporate a cafe. Incorporate something or things that will help your customers time go by.
Also maybe since you are located in NYC there should be plenty of things for your customers to do just outside your laundromat. Somehow if you could get locks on the washers/dryers and issue keys I think people will feel a lot more safe leaving their clothes unattended. Idk maybe they already do this at some places. In any event add some appeal to your laundromat and you definitely will be able to charge premium for your services.
Franchising would be a safer bet and will make it a lot easier especially if you have never been in this business before but I think if you do your homework you can become wayyyy more successful doing your own thing.
As an added thing I would probably go to some local laundromats and survey people asking them what they want or would like to see.