Home Depot eyes former Bed Bath & Beyond space on First Ave

Home improvement store has seen sales go up during the pandemic

731 Lexington Avenue and 410 East 61st Street (inset) with Vornado's Steve Roth (Googel Maps; VNO)
731 Lexington Avenue and 410 East 61st Street (inset) with Vornado's Steve Roth (Googel Maps; VNO)

Big-box retailers are playing musical stores on the Upper East Side.

Home Depot, which currently leases nearly 80,000 square feet at Vornado Realty Trust’s 731 Lexington Avenue, may be moving to a bigger spot in the neighborhood.

The home improvement store is on its way to taking over the more than 90,000-square-foot space Bed Bath & Beyond currently occupies at 410 East 61st Street, sources told The Real Deal. The retail condo and garage is owned by Gazit Horizons, whose president and CEO Jeff Mooallem declined comment through a spokeswoman. The deal is reportedly close to completion, with Ripco representing Home Depot.

This week, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it would shutter that location by December as part of its larger plan to close 200 stores throughout the U.S.

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It’s unclear what tenant would take over Home Depot’s old spot on Lexington Avenue, though sources tell TRD that Target had been eyeing the space. “We are continually evaluating potential store locations to serve new guests, but I don’t have any new-store news to share,” a Target spokesperson told TRD.

Home Depot was one of the first retail tenants to move into the Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed tower when it opened in 2004.
Representatives for Vornado, Ripco and Home Depot did not respond to requests for comment.

Other retailers at Vornado’s 58th Street tower include the Container Store. Bloomberg leases the entire office portion of the building.
National retail chains have been struggling since the start of the pandemic, though there have been some signs of improvement in the sector. As of mid-August, national store chains had paid 77 percent of their rent, according to the latest numbers from Datex.

Home Depot is one chain that’s done well as more people stay at home and take on renovations because of the pandemic. On its August earnings call, CEO Craig Dennear said that second quarter sales were $38.1 billion, up 23.4 percent from last year.