Nordstrom exec: Extell tower ‘better’ for us than Hudson Yards

Mayor touts move as a boon for retail and construction

A Nordstrom store (left), Gary Barnett (center) and Bloomberg with Peter Nordstrom (right)
A Nordstrom store (left), Gary Barnett (center) and Bloomberg with Peter Nordstrom (right)

Additional details on Nordstrom’s agreement with Extell Development to take seven floors — some 285,000 square feet — at a planned mixed-use tower on West 57th Street were released today.

The tower, which will be completed in 2017 or 2018, and sits between Seventh Avenue and Broadway, was just “better” for Nordstrom than the Hudson Yards, where Nordstrom also considered putting a Manhattan store, Nordstrom’s director of merchandizing, Peter Nordstrom said.

His comments were made at a Tribeca press conference, at which Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Extell President Gary Barnett also spoke.

The department store will buy the floors as a commercial condominium, but would not say how much the company would pay. Nordstrom executives will assist in decisions such as who the architect of the apartment, hotel and retail tower will be, Barnett said.

Peter Nordstrom said his company knew it needed at least 225,000 square feet for a store to make sense, and it had been difficult to find a retail space that size in a neighborhood with sufficient appeal.

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“We think we have all those issues worked out,” Nordstrom told the crowd. “It’s been a long time coming — some people didn’t believe it would ever happen.” He also said Nordstrom was “carving out its own space,” in Manhattan with the deal. That’s because the upscale department stores Bloomingdales’ And Saks Fifth Avenue’s are located on the East Side of Manhattan.

The new Nordstrom’s will likely benefit from nearby residential developments, such as One57, which is also being developed by Extell. In recent weeks, it had been rumored that the department store was considering setting up shop in One57.

Barnet said Nordstrom “will anchor an iconic tower with spectacular views of the Park, city and beyond.” He also joked that his family’s first concern upon hearing he was negotiating with Nordstrom was whether or not they would get a discount.

Bloomberg touted the deal as a boon for retail and construction. He said Nordstrom would create 1,000 new permanent jobs and thousands upon thousands of hours in construction work.  “Retail sales have doubled in size in the last 10 years,” in New York City despite the economic downturn, Bloomberg said. “Partnerships like this are what are going to keep our city strong.”

Following the press conference, Barnett told The Real Deal that the tower, whose height and number of apartments and hotel rooms have not been decided on, would use union construction. He also said he did not plan to seek tax incentives from the city for the development.

Derek Trulson of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Nordstrom in the deal, representatives for JLL said. Extell was advised by Robert Futterman of RKF.