By  on March 20, 2006

NEW YORK — Barneys New York is vacating the Americana Manhasset shopping center, one of the premiere luxury shopping centers in the nation.

The decision to leave the Americana stems from Barneys' expansion strategy of building flagships with 45,000 to 80,000 square feet. The Americana Manhasset store is much smaller, just under 20,000 square feet.

"Their lease is coming up at the end of January," said John J. Gutleber, president and chief executive officer of Castagna Realty Co., owner and operator of the Americana Manhasset. "They were looking for about 50,000 square feet, which we couldn't accommodate. Therefore, the Barneys space will be multi-tenanted. We have a long list of people wanting to come in here. Barneys was a good friend and a good tenant."

Gutleber said Barneys wanted to open a Co-op shop in the Americana Manhasset, located on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset, N.Y., but the center wasn't interested. Barneys' Co-op division specializes in contemporary sportswear, denim and accessories; the full-line stores offer classic and advanced designer merchandise, jewelry, cosmetics and Co-op goods, and private label merchandise from an array of established and newer designers and artisans.

Barneys now has its eyes on the Mall at Oyster Bay, which is being planned by Taubman Centers off Exit 43 of the Long Island Expressway, about 45 minutes from Manhattan. That mall would compete with Americana Manhasset, as well as the Roosevelt Field and Walt Whitman malls. The Oyster Bay mall has received commitments from Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, but construction has been hampered by some local opposition and court proceedings over environmental and traffic concerns, and the mall may still be a couple of years from opening. However, Taubman has won about a half dozen proceedings in the courts and is confident the property will be developed.

"Our lease is scheduled to expire in Manhasset in January 2007 and we are looking at the Oyster Bay situation," said a Barneys spokesman. He said Barneys opened in the Americana Manhasset in 1989. Another source said Barneys' staff in Manhasset will be reassigned to the Madison Avenue flagship.

Under its expansion strategy, Barneys plans to aggressively roll out flagships through 2008 in major metropolitan areas and has a goal of reaching $1 billion in sales. Two weeks ago, a Barneys opened in the Copley Place complex in Boston, the retailer's first new flagship in 13 years. Barneys' other flagships are in Beverly Hills and on East Oak Street in Chicago, as well as on Madison Avenue.

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