Friday, June 29, 2012

Nordstrom to Build $300M Flagship near Columbus Circle

After decades on the sidelines, Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom will open its NYC flagship store two blocks south of Columbus Circle, at 225 West 57th Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues. The new store will cost Nordstrom $300 million. Construction of the one-million-square-foot tower will begin early next year, creating more than 1,000 construction jobs. The tower is expected be completed by 2017.

The department store will cover 300,000 square feet on seven floors in a new tower by Extell Development Co., the builder behind the tallest residential building in the city, One57, which is still under construction.

The retail chain has had its sights on New York for 25 years, but finally settled on the West Side's growing retail scene. Nordstrom would be situated near Columbus Circle, only a couple of blocks from the Time Warner Center where retailers are reportedly getting about $1,600 a square foot in sales.

Nordstrom noted that it had an estimated 20,000 Nordstrom credit card holders in Manhattan alone, even though the nearest stores are on Long Island and New Jersey. "We wanted to be where the people are," said Peter Nordstrom, an executive vice president and president of merchandising of Nordstrom. "We fully expect this to be our most productive store."

New York's retail sales have doubled in the past 10 years, according to the city. The company, with 231 stores in 31 states, aims to tap into the city's 50 million yearly visitors, many of whom shop while walking along Broadway between Central Park and Times Square.

"We're not pioneering something, we're joining something," said Mr. Nordstrom, who anticipates the creation of more than 300 construction jobs, and 1,000 permanent jobs once the new store, is complete.

Nordstrom already operates a Treasure & Bond shop in SoHo and a Nordstrom Rack location near Union Square.

The major hold up in the company's decades-long mission to open a New York location has been its inability to find an ideal space.

The department store's requirements included ceiling heights of at least 25 feet and open floor plates without central elevator cores, and that combination made most existing buildings unworkable. Nordstrom considered several high-profile developments for a future home, including a high-rise condominium tower planned for the former Drake Hotel site and the Hudson Yards project.

Replacing the original Hard Rock CafĂ©, the store will open in 2017. Excavation on the site's 40,000-square-foot footprint could begin by the first quarter of 2013. The tower will include additional retail space, a hotel and residential units.

The hotel portion is expected to create about 250 construction jobs.