By  on April 16, 2007

Moynihan Station finally gets go-ahead

Thirty-fourth Street moves ever closer to a complete overhaul of its retail. In late March, the Empire State Development Corp., an economic development agency, won approval to acquire the 1.4 million-square-foot Farley Post Office at 34th Street and Eighth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The agency will pay $230 million to the U.S. Postal Service for the property, which will become the nucleus of Moynihan Station, what developers hope will become the Grand Central Terminal of Midtown South.

The Related Cos. and Vornado Realty Trust are partners on the project, which will include a hub for the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit.

Vornado is also responsible for the 2.5 million-square-foot redevelopment of Hotel Pennsylvania, a historic property on Seventh Avenue, directly across from the existing Madison Square Garden and Penn Station.

Separately, other developers are recasting their properties on 34th Street. Eastern Consolidated, for example, is selling its retail site at 150 West 34th Street, near Seventh Avenue. The property houses a 20,000-square-foot Old Navy flagship, which controls the lease until the first quarter of 2019.

Festival to offer revitalized aloha

Festival Cos., based in Los Angeles, aims to open its $84 million redevelopment of the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki by the end of the year. The 280,000-square-foot center includes luxury retailers Cartier, Hermès, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bulgari, Furla and Fendi, as well as affordable luxury brands Kate Spade, Le Sportsac, Juicy Couture and Tourneau. Local retailers Hilo Hattie, Little Hawaiian Craft Shop and the Coconut Hut Lei Stand round out the shopping options.

Retailers to own their real estate

Business Condos USA broke ground on Lakeside Promenade, a retail condo shopping center in St. Augustine, Fla. The project will house 18 buildings and cover 115,000 square feet of retail space. Individual condo units will be available in sizes ranging from 1,200 square feet and up.

Who controls the diamond districts?

The changes brewing in Manhattan's Diamond District seem to be making their way to the West Coast. In New York, jewelers and economic development officials are debating the merits of Gary Barnett's New York Diamond Tower, a skyscraper to house a global diamond exchange on the historic 47th Street block. In Los Angeles, a major New York developer, the Moinian Group, acquired the 400,000-square-foot Jewelry Center from Hertz Investment Group of L.A. for $144 million. The Jewelry Center is home to more than 300 jewelry companies, including retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers.

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