Virgin replacement expected soon

As Virgin Megastore exits Manhattan, it leaves behind two large retail spaces in Times Square and Union Square. The Times Square space is already spoken for: The New York Times reported that clothing brand Forever 21 is replacing Virgin in Vornado Realty Trust’s 60,000-square-foot space.

The Union Square space, meanwhile, doesn’t have a tenant yet. However, landlord Related Companies is confident that it will have a deal to announce in a few weeks, said Webber Hudson, executive vice president of Related Urban, Related’s mixed-use development branch.

Hudson said Related is looking for the “right combination of retailers to enhance its commitment to Union Square.” While Hudson said some potential tenants have been interested in taking the entire two-level space, which is about 57,700 square feet, it will likely be divided among a group of retailers. Hudson said most of the interested parties have been apparel brands, while consumer product and beauty companies also have inquired.

The Villager reported last month that Tommy Hilfiger had looked at the space for a potential new store, and, according to Women’s Wear Daily, Nordstrom is interested in taking the store’s lower level.

Although rents in the area are down compared to last year, Hudson said prices there have not eroded as much as in other areas, thanks to Union Square’s high foot traffic. Hudson said retailers will be paying market rate, but in a case where a retailer could benefit the area, he would “come off the market if it’s the right tenant.”