“Depot time” over as Office Depot to close last NYC store

Shuttering of Times Square shop part of consolidation following Office Max merger

TRD New York /
Aug.August 25, 2014 12:30 PM

The city’s last Office Depot will shutter its doors near Times Square at the end of the year. The move comes as the company trims more than 150 locations nationwide by year’s end following its acquisition of former rival Office Max.

The office-supply store at 1441 Broadway will close up shop at the end of December when its 15-year lease expires, the latest outlet to fall victim to declining brick-and-mortar sales and logistical redundancy. In May the company announced it would be closing 165 stores across the country this year as part of a plan to trim some 400 locations by 2016. This followed the 2013 merger of Office Depot and Office Max.

“One of the critical priorities for Office Depot, Inc. is to rationalize our store footprint in North America,” a spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. “The overlapping retail footprint created by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax provides us a unique opportunity to consolidate and optimize our store portfolio, while maintaining the retail presence needed to serve our customers.”

Office Depot’s 15-year lease at the corner of Broadway and 41st Street is set to expire at the end of the year. The retailer inked a deal for 22,451 square feet at $64 per-square foot back in 1999.

The property’s owner, L.H. Charney and Associates, is taking the opportunity to reposition the property. The company will overhaul up to 74,000 square feet of retail space after Office Depot moves out.

“We start demolition in January and it should be ready in spring,” said Winick Realty’s Jeff Winick, who is leading the leasing team. The current retail space spreads out across just shy of 60,000 square feet from the basement, through the mezzanine level and to the second floor, and Winick said there is a possibility of adding a third-floor space.

In addition to façade work that will brighten and open the space, the building will also be adding more than 12,000 square feet of retail signage, including four LED pillars that will bring the bright lights of Times Square a block south.

The retail portion of the building will have 325 feet of frontage as it wraps around 41st street between Broadway and 7th Avenues directly behind Boston Properties’ 7 Times Square.

Winick declined to comment on asking rents, but did say the team will be targeting fashion tenants.

Office Depot was operating about 1,900 stores in North America at the end of last year, and added another 823 stores through the merger with OfficeMax. In recent years the retailer has closed stores near Herald Square, Kips Bay and Greenwich Village. The company reported an operating loss of $79 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Competitor Staples is likewise feeling the pinch, reporting an operating loss of $25 million earlier this year. Staples announced last week it had closed nearly 100 stores this year and plans to shutter 140 by the end of the year.

Office Depot still runs an Office Max at Forest City’s Atlantic Center mall across from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as well as an Office Depot in Hoboken, N.J. Neither property’s landlord could be immediately reached for comment.

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