BY MICHAEL STOLER
While the commercial real estate market continues to grow and expand, one sector of the market, national and regional retail chain stores seem to be losing steam.
Landlords are feeling the effect of the bankruptcies after the closing of retail locations like Aeropostale, Eastern Mountain Sports, PacSun, Quicksilver, Sports Authority, Fairway Market, and A & P. This reduction in stores is compounded by the increased pressure by e-commerce, lower revenues and general consensus regarding the number of brick and mortar retailers.
The prominent national and local retailers that are shrinking their store count include Men’s Warehouse, Jos. A. Bank, Chico’s, White House Black Market, Finish Line, American Eagle Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, Sears, Barnes & Noble, Office Depot, Staples, Scoop, and Uniglo.
While these retailers are having an effect on the face of retail, other retailers are setting their sites for expansion in the metropolitan region.
Leading the pack is Target, which recently signed a lease for a 38,000 square foot site at 1715 East 13th Street in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn. This summer, CityTarget will open a 125,000 square foot store on the entire second floor of City Point, a massive retail and residential complex located in Downtown Brooklyn. Construction is underway in lower Manhattan for the Target small format city store. The store is near the World Trade Center complex and located at 255 Greenwich Street (at Murray Street) near the financial district and Battery Park. The store is slated to open in October 2016, with 7,358 feet on the ground and 40,894 on the lower level of the property. Fairway Market had signed a lease for the space but never opened a store. July 20th is the scheduled date for the opening of Target outpost in Forest Hills. The 21,000 sq. ft. store, located at 70-00 Austin Street, will be part of the retailer’s flexible format ‘stores. The Target replaces the former Barnes & Noble, which closed last December. Last month, Barnes & Noble also closed its store at the base of the Citicorp Center on Third Avenue & 53rd Street.
Looks like Apple is continuing its expansion in the Big Apple. The company, which has six retail locations in Manhattan, will be opening its first store this summer in Williamsburg at 247 Bedford Street. Industry leaders believe that chain has executed a lease with a major residential developer for a second store in the borough to be opened near the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Barclay Center.
This summer, the Fairway market on Second Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan, will have a new competitor with the opening of a Trader Joe’s store located in the former Food Emporium at East 32nd Street and Third Avenue. Later in the year, Trader Joe’s will be opening yet another location in Downtown Brooklyn at City Point, sharing it with Century 21, Alamo Draft house Cinema and DeKalb Market Hall, filled with food vendors.