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Storecasting Pt. 1: Trader Joe's Forest Hills Coming Along Nicely, Plus More Developments

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We've heard about so many soon-to-open stores that we can't possibly include all of them in one post. Here are the first five, with a second dispatch to follow.

1) Forest Hills: Progress on the Forest Hills Trader Joe's is moving along at a good clip. From this pic, it would seem that the place is on the verge of opening. [Forest Hills 72]

2) Midtown East: This fall, Madison Avenue is getting a new high-end jewelry boutique. Leviev comes to us from Lev Leviev, an Israeli billionaire whose firm is the world's largest cutter and polisher of diamonds. The 2,000-square-foot store will be opening at 700 Madison Avenue. You'll find more info on the Leviev's website, though you'd be well advised to turn down the volume on your computer before you click, as the site's pulsing soundtrack isn't easy to mute. UPDATE: The opening is slated for October 1st. [The Real Deal]

3) Meatpacking: The owners of Helmut Lang have been sniffing out locations in the Meatpacking District. Fashion Week Daily reports that the retailer is interested in the former Double Seven space at 418 West 14th Street. [FWD]

4) Midtown West: Has anyone, other than the Post, noticed that the Marc Ecko store supposedly opening in Times Square has been taking forever? We hadn't, not that it wouldn't make a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. Apparently, it's been four years since Ecko signed a lease for the space. According to Steve Cuozzo, "New 42nd Street President Cora Cahan said yesterday Ecko can't start construction until its plans get the green light from the state Historic Preservation Commission working in conjunction with the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission." Though the city's bound and determined to keep Ecko's streetwear from us for at least another year (someone help the man get his permits in order!), a Ripley's Believe It or Not "Odditorium" will be ready to go on the very same block on June 21st. [NY Post]

5) Soho: Nike—now almost free of that reputation-sullying sweatshop stuff—is planning on opening a concept store at 21 Mercer Street. According to a rep for the company, "We need to bring more energy to the U.S. retail marketplace." No word on what the store will offer customers; all is still very tentative as the company has yet to sign a lease. [WWD, subscription req.]

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