By  on July 20, 2018

For a small thoroughfare, Bleecker Street has had many personas: For much of its modern life, it was a charming, tree-lined thoroughfare, dotted with antiques dealers and other businesses, until the early Aughts when, heralded by the opening of Marc Jacobs’ first boutique, it became fashion central. Designers such as Reiss, Maison Margiela, Coach, Zadig & Voltaire, Mulberry, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece and Comptoir des Cottoniers unveiled units, and Ralph Lauren opened multiple stores on the thoroughfare. The Internet, high rents and shifting consumer shopping habits took a toll on the once red-hot street, leaving dozens of empty spaces.

Brookfield Property Partners, sensing an opportunity at depressed prices, in the spring snapped up seven storefronts from New York REIT for an estimated $31.5 million. The deal left many in the real estate community scratching their heads and wondering why a company as large as Brookfield would take such an interest in Bleecker Street. Michael Goldban, senior vice president of retail leasing at Brookfield Properties, in an interview with WWD on Thursday, said that the project is something of an experiment.

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