The Real Deal New York

Gap is adding to a growing stretch of retail vacancies along 34th Street

The retailer won’t be renewing at JEMB Realty’s Herald Towers
By Rich Bockmann | September 05, 2018 12:46PM

JEMB’s Morris Jerome and the Gap at 60 West 34th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

UPDATED, Sept. 5, 5:39 p.m.: Gap’s lease in Herald Square won’t be renewed, adding to a large block of retail vacancy along 34th Street.

JEMB Realty — the landlord at 60 West 34th Street (aka 1282 Broadway) — informed lender AIG that the lease with Gap would not be renewed or extended, according to property records filed with the city Wednesday.

It’s not clear how much space the Gap currently occupies in the building at the corner of 34th Street and Sixth Avenue, but as of 2010 the footprint was 70,000 square feet.

JEMB principal Louis Jerome said the company is working with RKF to market the retail space.

“The available retail spaces are part of a large scale repositioning of all of Herald Towers, which also includes 690 apartments,” he said.

A representative for Gap could not be immediately reached for comment.

JEMB also informed its lender that the lease with Forever 21 at the property would not be renewed.

The Real Deal reported earlier this year that the fast fashion brand signed a lease to relocate the Herald Square store into 43,000 square feet at rival H&M’s space across from Penn Station at Vornado Realty Trust’s 435 Seventh Avenue.

Forever 21 had occupied 25,000 square feet at JEMB’s Herald Square property, which means that along with the Gap space, the landlord is looking at as much as 95,000 square feet of availability at a time when the retail landscape is already struggling with vacancies.

The area along 34th Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues had a retail availability rate of 32.8 percent during the second quarter of the year, according to Cushman & Wakefield. That was the highest rate among the 11 different districts the brokerage tracked in Manhattan.

Retail asking rents had declined by 12.3 percent from a year earlier to $635 per square foot, among the largest drops the brokerage had reported.