High-End Retailers Flock to Bleecker Street

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This will look like a mall very soon. Photo: Shiny Things Flickr

Bleecker Street is turning into an outdoor mall. A series of high-end fashion and accessories stores are opening on the West Village street, according to The Wall Street Journal. French retailer A.P.C. just signed a lease. So did the menswear shop Freemans Sporting Club. Women's boutique Pinky Otto is opening this month. And Marc Jacobs will open a bookstore this winter at the old location of Biography Book Shop — which had been there for twenty years — the fifth shop in the designer's Bleecker Street empire. And the gentrification of Bleecker Street isn't likely to end anytime soon.

The area's largest private landlord, William Gottlieb Estate, is aggressively courting even more high-end tenants. While local residents miss the small businesses, for the retailers, it's a business move. According to brokers, Bleecker Street's new tenants (who often pay upwards of $60,000 in rent) worry less about turning a profit in the Village than about being seen by tourists and other shoppers. "They are in that location to promote the brand," explained Faith Hope Consolo, a broker and retail specialist for Prudential Douglas Elliman. "It's like taking a full-page ad every day," she said. Or, in Marc Jacobs's case, a five-page ad.

On Bleecker, Money Talks Even Louder [WSJ]