Byline: Sharon Edelson

NEW YORK--Polo Sport, which has been eyeing SoHo for about a year, is reportedly zeroing in on a space in the Chateau Marmont New York Hotel, which is scheduled to open on Prince Street in the summer of 1996.
The hotel will be at 93-99 Prince St. on the corner of Mercer Street. Potentially a hot retail property, the hotel has attracted the interest of about a dozen apparel retailers, which reportedly include Ann Taylor, Prada and Donna Karan.
"We've looked at SoHo over the past few years, but there's still nothing concrete," said Cheryl Sterling, president of Polo Ralph Lauren retail and licensing. "We're always looking at ways to grow our business."
Ann Taylor executives could not be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for Prada declined to comment on the Chateau Marmont space but said, "We're still contemplating a location in SoHo, as we have been for some time."
Stephen Ruzow, president of Donna Karan, said the company had looked at a space across the street from A/X Armani Exchange on Broadway and Prince Street in SoHo, but was unfamiliar with the Chateau Marmont.
"We've not really seen anything yet that fulfills our requirements," he said. "We're absolutely interested in SoHo. We're also looking on Madison Avenue and lower Fifth Avenue."
The Chateau Marmont will have about 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level and about the same amount on the lower level. The space may be given over to a single retailer or divided among two or three stores, said Andre Balazs, one of the Chateau Marmont's owners.
"We've been negotiating with Polo for seven or eight months for that site," said Brad Mendelson, senior managing director of Edward S. Gordon, which is the leasing agent for Chateau Marmont. "We have not yet concluded a transaction with any retailer."
Chateau Marmont New York, the East Coast version of the hip Beverly Hills hotel, is expected to attract a trendy downtown crowd when it opens next summer. It is around the corner from the Guggenheim Museum SoHo.
Another reason for the intense interest in the Chateau Marmont is the lack of available space in SoHo, real estate brokers said.

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