ANN TAYLOR LOFT GROWS
Byline: David Moin
NEW YORK — Ann Taylor Loft, furthering its aggressive expansion program, plans to open a 7,700-square-foot store at 770 Broadway and 9th Street in the Astor Place section of the East Village, in space formerly occupied by an HSBC bank.
Loft stores offer more relaxed styles and prices 30 percent lower compared to the career-oriented Ann Taylor stores. It’s the growth vehicle of the Ann Taylor corporation. With roughly 120 stores operating, Loft last year cited the possibility of ultimately operating 500 to 600 stores around the country.
Gordon Brant LLC, retail consultants and developers, arranged the Loft transaction on behalf of the landlord, Vornado Realty Trust. The building houses MTV.com and a Kmart. The Loft is believed to be looking for additional locations in Manhattan. The division also operates units on Manhattan’s East 42nd Street and East 52nd Streets.
Mark Kapnick, vice president of leasing for Gordon Brant, said Loft plans to open in June on the Broadway site. Kapnick said a 12-year lease was signed and that rents in the area are averaging around $150 per square foot. With limited space left in the vicinity for new retailers to come in, “there was a tremendous bidding war to get the space at 770 Broadway,” he noted.
Scott Gordon, a principal in Gordon Brant, added: “Astor Place has become an extension of what’s happening on Union Square.”