Monday, October 14, 2013

Giant H&M Store to Open in Herald Center

H&M’s largest store in the world will open in Herald Square next fall. The Swedish mega-retailer is planning a four-level flagship at 1293 Broadway, on the southwest corner of 34th Street. The massive store will take up 63,000 square feet in Manhattan's Herald Center, which is in the midst of a multi-million dollar makeover. The first three floors will feature a glass facade, while the remaining seven floors of the building will have LED light panels, with an overall effect reminiscent of Times Square. The development is part of a major expansion in Manhattan, bigger than the 57,000-square-foot store about to open at 589 Fifth Avenue, and dwarfing the 42,500-square-foot store at 4 Times Square which is scheduled to open later this year.

Opening towards the end of 2014, H&M's 63,000-square-foot space will be something of a mecca for fans of the brand, and will be the first location to offer an unprecedented mix of all of the brand's collections.

The four-level flagship, set to be the largest of the brand's stores worldwide, will appear inside the existing frame of the Herald Center in Manhattan, with the building's black exterior glass set to be replaced by a new wraparound transparent facade featuring billboard style posters of ad campaigns and exterior LED light panels.

The renovation of Herald Center, a 10-story, 250,000-square-foot retail and office property located on the corner of 34th Street and Broadway, includes the installation of both a glass facade and LED lighting. Work is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014, with an expected completion date late next summer.
The redevelopment was made possible after Daffy’s left the space between 34th and 35th streets, after the company filed for bankruptcy last summer. Building owner JEMB Realty negotiated buyouts with several other retailers including Toys R Us, and then announced plans for a $50 million renovation of the property. 

H&M wasn't looking for a new location but when the space presented itself, it was too good to pass up.

This will be the retailer's third 34th Street unit, joining locations at the intersections of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. 34th Street, where the asking rent is more than $1,000 per square foot, has proven to be one of the most successful retail corridors for the brand, after having operated two stores there for over 10 years.

Herald Square has seen something of a retail renaissance as of late. Urban Outfitters is planning an enormous store for Broadway between 35th and 36th Streets. Meanwhile, Macy's is funneling $400M into a makeover of its flagship -- which is still World's Largest Store at 1.2 million square feet. The district is pretty much reserved for giant national chains, as retail rents are climbing to numbers typically seen in Soho and Times Square.

The design of the new H&M unit will certainly advance the changing look of Herald Square. 

The first three floors will be covered in a glass facade with campaign images adoring the windows like billboards. 

Floors four through ten will have LED light panels. The overall effect will be reminiscent of Times Square.

Speaking of Times Square, H&M is still opening a massive 42,500 square foot unit at the base of 4 Times Square, replete with skyline-changing signage. That's in addition to the Fifth Avenue store that's in the works. In total, the three new stores will employ approximately 900 people.

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