The Real Deal New York

Macy’s shopping for Harlem site

April 22, 2008 06:16PM
By David Jones

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Department store giant Macy’s is in talks with Vornado Realty Trust to open a new store at the developer’s proposed Harlem Park office complex on 125th Street, according to brokers with knowledge of the negotiations.

The Macy’s store could rise up to the third floor of the 21-story building, however the amount of available space hinges on how big a lease Major League Baseball takes for the new television network it is launching.

The 640,000 square-foot office building is close to signing a lease with the new network and with Inner City Broadcasting, which owns the WBLS radio station, to be the two anchor tenants.

Robin Abrams, executive vice president at Lansco Corp, which is representing several potential retail tenants in Harlem, said Macy’s has been in talks with Vornado for a couple of months. She and others said asking retail rents in the area are about $100 per square foot.

“I do think this is an area that’s got a lot of potential,” she said. “Not only because of all of the activity along the 125th street corridor, but if you look at the residential you’re looking at an increasing demographic.”

Jones Lang LaSalle, which is representing Vornado on its office leasing, declined comment and referred calls directly to the company. Vornado also declined comment. And, Macy’s officials were not immediately available.

The store is one of several major department chains and retail outlets reportedly scouting locations on 125th Street, which is expected to be rezoned now that the Bloomberg administration and City Council have come to a compromise agreement on the amount of affordable housing to set aside and other height restrictions for the new buildings.

The modified plan — which passed through a key council committee and is expected to be rubberstamped by the full body — limits new development to 195 feet. But it allows the Harlem Park project to reach 330 feet to accommodate satellite equipment that needs to go on the rooftop.

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