NEW YORK — Ralph Lauren, who helped colonize Bleecker Street by opening separate boutiques for women and men, has set his sights on NoLIta. Lauren in September will open a 1,100-square-foot Double RL store at 31 Prince Street, according to the building’s landlord.

The address also houses Sigerson Morrison and Cafe Gitane. Edmund Li of Veracity Development LLC, which owns 31 Prince Street, said Lauren was attracted to the location on a busy corner of Prince and Mott Streets. “It’s a melting pot” of interesting retailers, he explained.

Also on Prince Street are Bio NYC, Selvage, a Levi’s concept and John Fluevog shoes. Tracey Feith is nearby on Spring Street and Calypso Home is located on Lafayette Street.

This is not Lauren’s first foray to NoLIta. Several years ago, the designer opened a 3,000-square-foot store at 271 Mulberry Street that subsequently closed.

NoLIta is still charming and less trafficked than much of SoHo, with edgier stores such as Resurrection vintage, where gently worn designer clothes can be found, and Christopher Totman, whose designs feature unfinished and asymmetric hems. Elizabeth Street is one of the main retail thoroughfares.

According to real estate brokers, rents in NoLIta range from $90 per square foot for larger spaces to up to $200 per square foot for smaller spaces. Brokers said rents are on the rise.

This story first appeared in the June 14, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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