The flagship Toys “R” Us store in New York City’s Times Square is closing.
The store’s lease expires at the end of January 2016 and is not being renewed, according to Brad Mendelson, vice chairman of retail services at Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate firm marketing the property.
“They did not renew subject to their option. That was their choice,” Mendelson said. The building’s owner is already talking to other retailers, he said.
Toys “R” Us spokeswoman Linda Connors acknowledged that the lease expires next year but didn’t confirm that it is not being renewed. “We have been reviewing our lease renewal options,” she said.
The company has over 1,500 stores globally and 13 in New York City. It was unclear if Toys “R” Us is planning another store near the Times Square location.
“We have not signed a lease agreement for a new location and any rumors regarding this ongoing process are just that,” said Connors.
The Toys “R” Us store has been located in New York’s premier location at 1514 -1530 Broadway, between 44th and 45th Streets for 16 years. It’s a popular tourist attraction, featuring a 20-foot T-Rex dinosaur that roars, a life-size Barbie dollhouse and a 60-foot Ferris wheel. It attracts big crowds, especially on Black Friday.
But Mendelson said he has already in negotiations with “a number of prospective tenants. They’re all retailers, he said, but he would not identify them.
Mendelson said that Toys “R” Us occupies 110,000 square feet of space in the building.
He said the ground floor costs $2,500 per foot per year, while the second floor costs $350 and the basement costs $150 per foot a year. An area that he referred as the “side street,” located behind the store, costs $400 per square foot per year.
The ground floor is much more expensive that the other areas because it has store front access to Broadway.
The incoming tenants will begin to build their individual stores in 2016, he said. They’ll be dividing up the massive space currently occupied Toys “R” Us.