By Patrick Hedlund
Union Square Nordstrom
With the Virgin Megastore liquidating the last of its wares before the multimedia monolith leaves Union Square, department store Nordstrom is inching closer to taking over the prized address on 14th St. and Broadway.
The retailers lower-priced spinoff, Nordstrom Rack, is currently working on a deal to take over the Virgin property after it shutters for good in the coming weeks.
According to reports, the department stores reps have recently been negotiating with the propertys landlord, The Related Companies, to close on the Union Square South space for its first New York City location.
Were interested in Union Square, but we dont have a deal yet, Brooke White, a Nordstrom spokesperson, told Mixed Use. Weve looked at it, were talking to them, and its a possibility. A Related Companies spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
While a Womens Wear Daily report last week had the store negotiating for only the locations lower level, broker Faith Hope Consolo said Nordstrom would likely take the whole space, including the adjoining property formerly occupied by Circuit City.
It would be a dream deal, she said, noting that the company has been shopping for space in Manhattan for quite some time. Consolo added that electronic/appliance retailer P.C. Richard & Son has also shown interest in the Circuit City space despite having a store just two blocks east of the location.
Nordstrom has flirted with Manhattan in recent years, but given the negotiability of todays market and the stores regional presence, the deal definitely makes sense, Consolo said.
It would be a very exciting addition to the retail landscape, and very welcome, she explained, citing the addresss proximity to other cheap-chic department stores in Union Square. Nordstrom in any form is what Manhattans been waiting for.
Hookah clubs hopes rekindled
The saga of East Village nightclub Le Souk took yet another turn last week when a court ruled to reinstate the much-maligned hookah bars hooch license following a revocation last year.
According to a May 21 decision by the State Supreme Court Appellate Division, evidence of overcrowding at the embattled Avenue B nightspot was based on a guesstimate that cannot constitute legal evidence to support the licenses cancellation.
Le Souk has long proved a sore spot for residents living near the popular North African-themed bar, with a never-ending stream of noise complaints coming from its Alphabet City neighbors. After Le Souk was cited for multiple violations in a January 2007 enforcement sweep, the club had its liquor license cancelled in March 2008 for an extensive adverse history. However, the bars owners appealed the decision, a challenge that was upheld in court due to the inaccurate inspection of the space in 2007.
We find that testimony that patrons were standing shoulder to shoulder, the only evidence proffered by the State Liquor Authority that the premises were overcrowded, is insufficient to support the findings that the petitioner violated the rules, the court decision stated.
Additionally, the ruling cited inspectors failure to perform an adequate head count the night of the investigation, stating that substantial evidence of a violation of occupancy limits cannot be based on testimony that cavalierly assesses groups of people on a give or take basis.
Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, whose board has dealt with Le Souk for years, said she believed the club would reopen because they had reached out to a local block association to discuss the matter.
The clubs owners recently negotiated for a three-level space on LaGuardia Place that formerly housed an Egyptian-themed bar, fueling speculation Le Souk would be reopening there.
News of the reinstatement originally appeared on the nightlife blog Down By The Hipster.
How low can it go? Thats the question buyers and sellers have been asking themselves about the ever-unraveling Manhattan real estate market, which forced a formerly $40 million Nolita listing down to $26 million in less than nine months. The $14 million discount at the Candle Building at 11 Spring St. represents a nearly 35 percent slash from its original listing price.
The property purchased from media scion Lachlan Murdoch in 2006 for $12 million before undergoing extensive renovations was originally given a $39.8 million price tag when it hit the market last September.
Similar price reductions have occurred at other luxury Downtown buildings, including artist Julian Schnabels Palazzo Chupi in the West Village, which recently went rental after Schnabel cut prices for its triplex and duplex units from $32 million to $22 million and $19 million, respectively.