Hobby Lobby Inks Deal for First NYC Store in Staten Island

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The mega arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby is opening its first New York City store in Staten Island, potentially by the end of the year, brokers on the deal announced Wednesday. 

The Oklahoma City-based retailer snagged a 42,768-square-foot store at the former site of a Babies “R” Us at The Crossing at the Staten Island Mall, according to Brookfield PropertiesAlex Varon, who represented the landlord in-house in the deal. Varon declined to comment on the asking rent and the length of the lease.

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“Bringing in the first Hobby Lobby to New York City at The Crossing at Staten Island Mall is an example of what Brookfield does,” Varon said. “We knew Hobby Lobby was the right fit to meet the needs of the Staten Island community.”

Before Hobby Lobby, Brookfield had signed a deal with a large fitness company for the former Babies “R” Us space, but that company went bankrupt during the pandemic and left the site, Varon said. That left him with the task of finding another tenant during the global pandemic. Varon declined to disclose the name of the fitness chain.

Depending on how long it takes for both the store and the landlord to build out the space, the craft supply store could open at 2655 Richmond Avenue as soon as the end of this year, or early next year, said Varon. The store will be Hobby Lobby’s first in the city, according to Katz & Associates, whose team of Brian Katz and Daniel DePasquale represented the retailer in the deal.

“Katz & Associates has worked with Hobby Lobby since 2013, helping with their expansion throughout Florida and Pennsylvania, so it’s really exciting to help this top-notch retailer enter the New York City market with a new store on Staten Island,” Katz said in a statement. “We are actively seeking locations in all of the other boroughs and expect to have more exciting news soon.”

Hobby Lobby, which has over 900 stores nationwide, was in negotiations with its new landlord for a few months before the deal closed in September 2021, Varon said. It will neighbor a Macy’s, a Dave & Buster’s and an Apple outpost at the 1.2 million-square-foot Staten Island Mall, according to the mall’s directory. 

Update: This story has been updated to include a comment from Alex Varon.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.