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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


Between the past year's rise in work-from-home and dramatic spike in online shopping, things might have appeared gloomy for New York's brick-and-mortar shopping scene. However, plunging commercial rents will give entrepreneurs and retailers the chance to open interesting new concepts and larger locations in the city's top shopping districts. Moreover, many retailers are getting extremely creative with their wares and atmosphere to lure people out of their homes and into the shops (all with safety protocols in place).

A rumored Times Square casino would have several legal and regulatory hoops to jump through, but the city is getting set to welcome an outdoor pool, a miniature golf course, new takes on luxury retail, and a store to give Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter a run for its money. Read up on these below, as well as other retail concepts New Yorkers have welcomed with open arms.

Tiffany Flagship Next Door
6 East 57th Street, Midtown East
Opened January 2020

Tiffany-Flagship-Next-Door-01 Image via Tiffany & Co.
The iconic Tiffany & Co. headquarters is in the midst of a transformation, but modern-day Holly Golightlys can still enjoy “breakfast at Tiffany’s” just around the corner. The Tiffany Flagship Next Door offers the same iconic jewelry collections and VIP service as the Fifth Avenue flagship, yet offers an airier and more playful atmosphere designed around a vaulted, escalator-flanked atrium. The store will also feature eye-catching installations, such as a 42.5-foot tall Tiffany blue Empire State Building. (P.S. Now that the Secret Service and police protections around Trump Tower are no longer in place, shopping around here just got a lot easier.)

Sour Patch Kids Store
665 Broadway, Greenwich Village
Opened August 2020

Sour-Patch-Kids-Store-01 Image via Sour Patch Kids
Candy lovers mourning the rumored closing of the Dylan’s Candy Bar flagship will find both solace and sugar in the Village, where the first Sour Patch Kids store opened in honor of the candy’s 35th anniversary last summer. Visitors to the Instagram-friendly store can create their own candy mix with their favorite flavors, and the Sweets Bar serves ice cream sandwiches, baked goods, and drinks with Sour Patch Kids features.

Krispy Kreme Times Square Flagship
1601 Broadway, Midtown West
Opened September 2020

Krispy-Kreme-01 All images via Krispy Kreme
All over the country, Hot Lights indicate when Krispy Kreme doughnuts are fresh out of the oven for optimal enjoyment. That was a bit harder to replicate in New York locations...until the world’s largest Hot Light came on in Times Square. A streetside pickup window is available for New Yorkers on the go, but there’s quite a production going on at this outpost in the Theater District: Doughnuts pass through a glaze waterfall on a conveyer belt. Visitors can get all their favorite flavors, not to mention an exclusive Big Apple doughnut with apple cream filling, red candy apple glaze, a royal icing leaf, and lightly salted pretzel stem. (As an aside, the gym several stories up has closed, but this location is going strong.)

127 Greene Street, Soho
Opened November 2020

Onitsuka-01 All images via Onitsuka Tiger
Onitsuka Tiger is one of Japan’s oldest footwear companies, but there’s more to it than the iconic striped sneakers: THE ONITSUKA is a hybrid crossover between upscale dress shoes and the company’s signature athletic shoes. The Soho store entirely dedicated to this luxury line was designed in collaboration with Bruce Mau Design, and the boutique partnered with non-profit LISA Project NYC to commission a piece by graffiti artist John “Crash” Matos.

99 University Place, Greenwich Village
Opened December 2020

Concepts-01 All images via Concepts
The area between New York University and Union Square Park is on the road to becoming a mecca for sneaker enthusiasts: A block away from Flight Club, Concepts has opened a New York City location on the corner of University Place and East 12th Street. A pavilion at the center is the focal point of the 2,500-square-foot store to set up an experiential retail journey featuring brands like Nike, Adidas, Jordan, Converse, Vans, and Stussy. A far cry from the bowling shoes handed out at the Bowlmor Lanes that used to be in this area (and has since been replaced by luxury condo 21E12)!

363 Lafayette Street, Noho
Opened January 2021

On-NYC-01 Image via On
For more than 10 years, elite runners and athletes all over the world have attested to the perfect running sensation - explosive takeoffs, cushioned landings - perfected by the athlete-engineer team at On. The brand got its start in Zurich, but opened its first global flagship in Manhattan. The floor is outfitted with gait analysis technology and an invisible foot scanner, so as to measure foot size and running style, and a "magic wall" allows shoppers to get more information on any product by tapping with a NFC-enabled device. The store also seeks to become a seasonal hub for the area’s running community.

261 Fifth Avenue, NoMad
Opened January 2021

The sample sales of 260 Fifth Avenue have long been a destination for New York’s fashionistas, but another luxury option has just opened across the street: MARQUE Luxury, one of the world's leading authorities in authentic pre-owned designer goods, has opened its first New York City showroom. On appointment-only visits, shoppers have access to top luxury brands like Chanel, Fendi, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. This location is also open to MARQUE Luxury-approved wholesale dealers and MARQUE Mentor members.

The Courts by TI
500 Eighth Avenue, Midtown West
Opened February 2021

500-Eighth-Avenue-01 Photos via CityRealty
Tennis Innovators has just opened the doors of an indoor junior tennis club with state-of-the-art lighting and air filtration systems. In addition to tennis lessons and camps for kids, the programming includes basketball sessions and adults-only offerings like High Intensity Tennis Training and Rose x Rally. This space is temporary, but perhaps with enough patronage, the concept can open a permanent location to bring indoor tennis to Midtown office workers and residents. For now, all we can do is enjoy this while it lasts, wait to find out about the future...and wait for the weather to warm up so we can enjoy the organization’s outdoor facilities.

Love Chapel
161 West 75th Street, Upper West Side
Opened February 2021

Love-Chapel-01 Image via Love Chapel
Wedding season is definitely going to look different this year, but one thing that has not changed is the astronomical price of New York wedding venues. However, there is an option beyond going to City Hall (where appointments are required): Love Chapel, a small indoor space dedicated to weddings, offers options ranging from the “City Hall Style” ceremony for $200 to a two-hour mini-wedding for $2,000 (not a typo). There are licensed officiants on-site, and the Upper West Side address is close to Central Park for gorgeous photos.

34 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District
Opened April 2021

Two-Minds-01 Two:Minds via Yvonna Tnt/
Jeffrey was an early retail casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, but its influence is still felt. The designer boutique was a key part of the Meatpacking District’s transformation/gentrification; and, around the corner from the store, former Jeffrey buyer Jesse Dong is a co-founder of Two:Minds. This new concept combines legacy brands with up-and-coming designers from all over the world, and seeks to offer an airy environment and welcoming atmosphere, much like the one Mr. Dong enjoyed when he started at Jeffrey.

Montblanc Flagship
635 Madison Avenue, Midtown East
Opened April 2021

Montblanc-01 Image via Ricky Zehavi
As Crain’s New York Business observed, Madison Avenue is gearing up for a post-pandemic comeback with luxury brands snatching up space. Among them was Montblanc, which opened a 4,425-square-foot flagship store on East 59th Street. The setting was designed to showcase the largest exhibition of Montblanc writing instruments and leather goods in the United States, and to display a combination of contemporary design and classic elegance.

The boutique will offer personalization services for the brand’s watches, pens, and leather goods. Shoppers may visit the first-ever Snowcap Ink Table and Ink Bar to test different pen nibs and choose a favorite color ink; additionally, there is a traditional bar in the lounge area.

Taco Bell digital-only restaurant
1501 Broadway, Midtown West
Opened April 2021

Taco-Bell-01 Image via Taco Bell
Digital-only restaurants are one legacy of the coronavirus pandemic, and Taco Bell has gotten in on the trend: Its first digital-only restaurant opened in the Paramount Building earlier this spring. Customers can either place an order online ahead of time or use a self-service kiosk, the latter of which can also be used to buy souvenirs. A spokesperson told Delish that Times Square was a perfect fit for the new model, as the efficient technology goes hand in hand with the energy of New York.

Manolo Blahnik flagship
717 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side
Opened June 2021

Manolo-Blahnik-01 Image via Tim Williams/Manolo Blahnik
When the Manolo Blahnik boutique on West 54th Street suddenly closed in late 2019, fashionistas and fans of Sex and the City alike were devastated. But the shoe designer is back in New York and better than ever: Earlier this week, a new Manolo Blahnik flagship store opened in a landmarked building on Madison Avenue. The women’s section is decorated in marble and plaster, the men’s section in blue lacquer, and a brass-topped bar welcomes all patrons.

In addition to the latest designs, the Madison Avenue boutique will offer what Vogue calls the city’s chicest souvenirs: 717, an exclusive capsule collection. And with more casting news about And Just Like That… coming out almost every day, I couldn't help but wonder...would this reboot include a trip to the new shoe store?

Google store
76 Ninth Avenue, Chelsea
Opened June 2021

Google-store-01 Image via Google and Paul Warchol
Google pop-up stores have made appearances in New York over the years, but its first permanent location just opened its doors in the heart of the tech giant’s Chelsea campus (and up the street from the Meatpacking District Apple store). In addition to hardware products like Pixel phones, Nest smart home products, and Fitbits, the store will feature Google-branded swag. It will also offer “sandboxes” - rooms designed with product-specific experiences - and a glass booth to be filled with exhibits showcasing its technologies. The Verge describes the aesthetic as “a less antiseptic, more homey Apple store” and notes that the space is LEED Platinum certified.

Landshark Bar & Grill
560 Seventh Avenue, Midtown West
Opened June 2021

Landshark-01 All images of Landshark Bar and Grill via Margaritaville Resorts
Escape to Margaritaville has long since closed on Broadway, but Parrotheads will still have something to enjoy in Times Square when the city’s first Margaritaville Resort opens this spring. The food and drink options will include the fourth-floor Landshark Bar & Grill, a concept inspired by Atlantic Coast beach joints and serving “comfort food with a coastal twist.” It will also host the only outdoor pool in Times Square, which will be open for swimming year-round (weather permitting). The hotel has recently started accepting bookings.

Drama Book Shop
266 West 39th Street, Midtown West
Reopened June 2021

Drama-Book-Shop-01 Image via Drama Book Shop
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s esteemed career can practically be traced through Drama Book Shop: He formed a theater company in the store’s basement, worked on the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights there, and used the store as a venue for a Hamilton: The Revolution book signing event. When it appeared that the Theater District fixture might fall victim to rising rents, he and three Hamilton collaborators bought the bookstore and found a new location, which opened the same day as the movie adaptation of In the Heights.

In addition to the extensive play selection that brought the bookstore to prominence - including a Tony Award Honor for Excellence in the Theatre - the reopened store will feature rare books. It is decorated with more than 125 theater-themed posters, replicas of armchairs seen in Hamilton, and a 140-foot sculptural representation of a bookworm. A coffee bar will offer Puerto Rican coffee and pastries from Balthazar Bakery and Amy’s Bread, and the basement will be used for workshops and events.

Harry Potter Store
935 Broadway, Flatiron District
Opened June 2021

Harry-Potter-store-01 Harry Potter store via CityRealty
As those who read the Harry Potter books know, Diagon Alley can only be accessed by tapping certain bricks in a London wall. However, the next best thing may be found by walking to the corner of Broadway and East 22nd Street: a three-story shop dedicated to the franchise. The store measures over 20,000 square feet, is home to a prop griffin seen in the movies, and features such offerings as bespoke wands, personalized gift trunks and house robes, and exclusive apparel. The Butterbeer Bar serves draft butterbeer in souvenir tankards as well as ice cream, and the confectionery section offers sweets described in the books. Visitors can pose for pictures in the Ministry phone box, and virtual reality experiences are in the works.

The store was originally slated to open in summer 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the opening date and forced a virtual queue system to manage capacity. The concept took shape in the landmarked Mortimer Building, and Manhattan Community Board 5 is somewhat disenchanted: The landmarks committee soundly rejected plans for wand-style flagpoles and a fiberglass dragon on the side of the building.

Trader Joe's
22-43 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
Opening June 25, 2021

Starting next Friday, Long Island City residents craving Mandarin Orange chicken, Everything But the Bagel-seasoned snacks, or Cinnamon Sugar Bread will not have to trek to Rego Park or get on the subway from Manhattan with an armload of bags: The first Trader Joe’s in Long Island City will open its doors at 8 am on Friday, June 25. A Reddit post notes that opening day festivities will include music and giveaways, and that the store’s decor will pay tribute to the local neighborhood. It will occupy 17,000 square feet in The Prime, a luxury condominium where the Trader Joe’s effect may already be felt: Several units have already entered contract, and a three-bedroom is available for $1.75 million.

1227 Broadway, NoMad
Opening estimated for fall 2021

Swingers-01 Golf course via Swingers
For many years, Pier 25 in Tribeca has been the home of Manhattan’s only miniature golf course, which visitors are only able to enjoy during seasonable weather. However, when the Nomad Virgin Hotel opens, mini golfers will be able to play all year round: Swingers, a UK-based indoor, adults-only golf club, has signed a 15-year lease for 22,000 square feet of lower-level space in the hotel.

Swingers’ UK outposts were inspired by a 1920s golf club in rural England, and feature food and alcoholic beverages. British GQ described it as “London’s new Friday night” when the first permanent location opened in 2016, and this will be the club’s first U.S. location.

Timothy Oulton flagship
901 Broadway, Flatiron District
Opening estimated for 2021

Timothy-Oulton-01 Rendering via Timothy Oulton
Timothy Oulton currently has space at the New York Design Center, but is thinking a bit bigger: The British furniture brand signed a lease for an East Coast flagship store at 901 Broadway, a landmarked building originally designed for Lord & Taylor. At 7,170 square feet, it will be the brand’s largest retail space in the region. The space was most recently occupied by Brooks Brothers.

Timothy Oulton’s in-house design team has developed the concept for the store, which will feature the brand’s signature Apollo capsule (built to the same scale as NASA’s Apollo 11 command module) at the center of the main floor. Street-level windows will be framed with interior black draperies to highlight the merchandise and entice shoppers. A three-ton fish tank will be installed near the front entrance, and the cafe area will be renovated with a new stainless steel bar top. The completion of interior construction is estimated for summer 2021.
Timothy-Oulton-01 Timothy Oulton flagship circa June 2021 via CityRealty

Minamoto Kitchoan
604 Fifth Avenue, Midtown East
Coming soon

Minamoto-Kitchoan-01 Hand-crafted wagashi via Minamoto Kitchoan
In 1924, 604 Fifth Avenue was designed by William Van Alen (of Chrysler Building fame) for restaurant chain Childs. In later years, the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District thought the TGI Friday’s in the building lowered the tone of the neighborhood. However, the next tenant has the potential to pick it up: Japanese confectionery Minamoto Kitchoan bought the building for just under $45 million and has plans for a new flagship. It has not yet been confirmed whether this will take cues from its main shop in Ginza, which offers candy shopping on the ground floor, a traditional Japanese restaurant upstairs, and events celebrating Japanese culture.

Additional Info About the Building