FAO Schwarz Wrapping Up Negotiations for Xmas 2016 Opening in Times Square


Rendering of 1633 Broadway (Image: Cushman & Wakefield marketing materials).
Rendering of 1633 Broadway (Image: Cushman & Wakefield marketing materials).

Iconic toy store FAO Schwarz is in serious negotiations to move its flagship from Fifth Avenue to a smaller, sleek space in the Crossroads of the World, Commercial Observer has learned.

On July 15, the oldest toy company in the country will be vacating the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue—its home for nearly 30 years—due to a significant rent increase, the company has said. Sources with intimate knowledge of the deal told CO that the new store is slated to open at the base of Paramount Group‘s 2.5-million-square-foot office tower at 1633 Broadway between West 50th and West 51st Streets, just in time for the 2016 Christmas season.

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Shoppers will enter the new store via a 733-square-foot Apple-inspired glass cube in a public plaza on West 51st Street. FAO will also occupy two levels below ground with 14-foot ceilings for a total of over 40,000 square feet. The 15-year lease has an asking rent of $4 million a year. The toy giant is currently shelling out about $15.6 million a year for a 60,000-square-foot space at Boston Properties‘ GM Building, which spans Madison to Fifth Avenues and East 58th to East 59th Streets, according to previous reports.

“Our current FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue location will close on July 15 as we continue to look for a potential new site in Midtown Manhattan,” a company spokeswoman emailed. “As with our Times Square store, we have not signed a lease agreement for a new location.”

The Times Square location referred to sister company Toys “R” Us, which did not renew its lease at the Bow Tie Building at 1514 Broadway. Gap Inc. signed leases for The Gap and Old Navy to occupy about half of Toys’ 110,000-square foot space, as CO reported this past Saturday.

A spokesperson for Boston Properties did not respond to a request for comment and a Paramount representative declined to comment. The brokers marketing the 1633 Broadway space are Cushman & Wakefield‘s Brad Mendelson, Alan Schmerzler, Steve Soutendijk and Chris Schwart. Mr. Mendelson didn’t respond to requests for comment.