By Sarah Trefethen
Last week’s announcement that the Seattle-based department store Nordstrom will open a flagship store between Broadway and 7th Avenue will bring a new, western anchor to the 57th Street retail corridor.
The store, to fill 285,000 s/f in a new development by Extell Development Company on 57th Street, is expected to open in 2018.
“We’re not too close to competitors but we’re not too far away from customers,” said Derek Trulson, international director with Jones Lang LaSalle, who represented Nordstrom in the deal. “Effectively we’ll be the only luxury department store on the West Side, which is fantastic, and we’re on 57th Street so you’re really allowing yourself to connect to the East Side shopper through that corridor.”
And then there are the tourists who flock to the bright lights of the West Side’s Times Square.
“38 million roughly visit Central Park each year, and anyone that’s in Times Square and going to Central Park is going to roll right past our store,” Trulson said.
Extell was advised by Robert Futterman of RKF in the deal. The 7-story department store will for the base of a mixed-use development, which is still in the planning stages.
Trulson has been working with Nordstrom for three years in their search for a Manhattan location, which according to published reports has gone on for over two decades.
“Nordstrom is patient,” Trulson said. “They didn’t need to do anything, so they could wait for the right space.”
Location and flexibility were the biggest appeals of the deal for Nordstrom, he said. “We looked at a lot of existing space, and you realize existing office buildings in midtown proper have low ceiling heights and center cores, and both those things are non-starters.”
Negotiations with Boston Development Group for Space at 250 W 55th Street fell through because the developers were unable to meet the retailor’s demands, Trulson said.
Other contending sites included Related’s Hudson Yards development , and the Durst Organization’s project on 6th Avenue between 31st and 32nd.
The deal was announced last week at a news conference at Nordstrom’s treasure&bond Soho location at 350 West Broadway, keynoted by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
“It makes perfect sense that Nordstrom – one of the premier names in retailing – would want a flagship store in New York, the world’s premier city for retailing,” Bloomberg said.
“This is very exciting news for New Yorkers and the millions of tourists who come to our city to shop each year, and this new addition to the West Side of Manhattan is another sign of the private sector’s confidence in New York City.”
The 40,000 s/f block-through site, which fronts on the northern side of 57th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue and extends to 58th Street, once housed the original Hard Rock Cafe.
The parcel was assembled by Extell President Gary Barnett over a period of nearly a decade.
According to Barnett, excavation work on the site could begin as early as the first quarter of next year.
“This has been a long time coming for us, as Nordstrom has sought a NYC location for many years. We couldn’t be happier about the opportunity to be a part of this terrific development project with Extell and feel the location works extremely well for us,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom, Inc.
“We look forward to opening our doors and we view this as our chance to have our best Nordstrom store in the best retail city in the world.”