By and  on October 25, 2006

NEW YORK — Nordstrom is getting more serious about establishing a store in Manhattan as part of the chain's program to elevate its fashion profile and sustain expansion.

The $7.7 billion chain is being bombarded by brokers and developers pushing properties and has checked out some high-profile locations, although nothing has been signed. Nordstrom is looking for a location of 180,000 to 250,000 square feet.

"Almost every week, someone has a different site or plan for us," said Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising for the Seattle-based chain. "There are a good half-dozen that are worth exploring. We are looking at sites. Our focus is really trying to get something in Manhattan."

Nordstrom was interviewed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday night, where he and his executive team, surrounded by a slew of young designers, celebrated the launch of "In Vogue," a book about the history of Vogue published by Rizzoli. Nordstrom co-sponsored the party.

The executive wouldn't elaborate on all the sites the retailer is viewing but did say the Penn Station area, downtown around the Battery Park area, and Trump Tower are among those being examined. "We looked at Lord & Taylor, too," Nordstrom said. "We haven't ruled anything out."

Nordstrom said the company is "creative and open-minded to locations.

"We don't have to be between Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman," Nordstrom said. "There are other places where we could probably be successful."

Donald Trump said he's got 125,000 square feet available for Nordstrom, or some other potential tenant, with Asprey and Avon recently closing their locations at Trump Tower. Trump noted that Nordstrom could have frontage extending along 75 percent of the block between 57th and 56th Streets on Fifth Avenue, providing excellent exposure in the high-traffic neighborhood. Tiffany & Co. occupies the other 25 percent on the 57th Street side of Fifth Avenue. Trump also said he could extend the retail space up a few levels to six, adding more space, but prefers not to.

"They love the space, but we are talking to so many different people," other than Nordstrom, Trump said.

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