By  on October 14, 2009

Hollister Co. is ready to jump into the retail mix on Fifth Avenue.

The division of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. launched its first Manhattan store in July in SoHo. And now, Abercrombie & Fitch is preparing to open a second Hollister location at 668 Fifth Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets in the former Hickey Freeman space. Crown Acquisitions Inc., which coowns the building, said the Hollister unit will be in a two-level, 15,500-square-foot space, which will open next year. In May, Abercrombie & Fitch said it would open a smaller abercrombie children’s store in Hickey Freeman’s former location.

Abercrombie & Fitch did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

“We think the change from abercrombie to Hollister is a big positive,” said Crown’s Haim Chera. “The decision to open a second Hollister store speaks to the positive momentum of the retail sector on Fifth Avenue, as well as Abercrombie & Fitch’s desire to cater to the tremendous foot traffic in the area.”

The store on Fifth Avenue will have 53 feet of double-height glass frontage and 28-foot ceilings. “Knowing what [Abercrombie chief executive officer] Mike Jeffries can do with space….It’s pretty exciting for the avenue,” Chera said. “Hollister is a tourist destination.”

Construction is scheduled to begin around Jan. 1, Chera said.

Crown, along with The Carlyle Group and Kushner Cos., bought the Hickey Freeman lease back from its owner, Hartmarx Corp., in bankruptcy court for $12 million.

Abercrombie & Fitch operates a flagship for its main brand at 720 Fifth Avenue, at 56th Street.

Hollister’s 40,000-square-foot, four-level “Epic Hollister Store” is at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street. The brand is geared to 12- to 24-year-olds.

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