By  on February 28, 1994

NEW YORK -- Filene's Basement is continuing its urban assault.

The off-price retailer, which landed on Manhattan's Upper West Side last November, said it might open three more units in the city. It is targeting the Upper East Side, lower Manhattan and the Chelsea and Flatiron districts.

Brian Bootay, vice president of real estate for the Wellesley, Mass.-based chain, said at a meeting of the Association of Real Estate Women Thursday night that the company was also "actively looking for locations in the outer boroughs."

"We attracted a lot of shoppers from all over when we first opened on Broadway and 79th Street," he said. "But that's a lot of curiosity, and it dies down after a while. We have a very tight trading area on the Upper West Side, and we think New York can take at least three more [Basements]."

Bootay said much of the 1993 expansion for the 86-year-old chain was in urban locations.

"Downtown areas have a density of office population and a residential population that's largely professional," he said. "That's our core customer."

He added that the recession has made some excellent sites available and that more attractive rents are fueling opportunities for expansion in cities.

AREW hosted the seminar, which had as its theme, "New York City: Shoppers' Paradise."

Bootay was joined in a panel discussion by Frank O'Neill, vice president and director of real estate and construction for Lechters, the housewares chain, and Jack Podger, a real estate consultant for Designs Inc., which operates stores in a joint venture with Levi Strauss.

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