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It's been a full year since we first heard rumors about whether Nordstrom would actually consider opening a retail location downtown — and several years since midtown was first announced — and now, someone with the last name Nordstrom confirmed it is indeed in the very, very early planning stages.
At least Pete, Erik, and Blake Nordstrom, brothers and co-presidents of the Seattle-based retailer, said as much in an extensive profile in WWD, admitting that at one point Manhattan may not have been considered prime real estate for the brand, but they've been forced to re-evaluate that in recent years.
"If you think about the country, and where we don't have [full-line] stores, maybe you could argue [we should] have one in...lower Manhattan," Blake Nordstrom said. "That's it. We think we are in, for the most part, the key locations around the country."
"It's also easy to get excited about lower Manhattan," Pete Nordstrom added. "We're looking, but something opening downtown before 57th Street is highly unlikely. We don't have anything downtown, but I wouldn't dismiss it as a possibility." While midtown is filled with the likes of Bergdorf's, Barneys, and Saks Fifth Avenue (and eventually Neiman Marcus), their only main department store competition in the Financial District right now would be Saks, set to debut in the spring.
Not losing sight of their original objective in Manhattan, the Nordstroms are moving full steam ahead with the massive undertaking that is their 285,000-square foot, seven-level site — the company's most vertical unit, they say — at 225 West 57th Street, which includes a 7,000-square foot restaurant on its top floor. The project is rumored to be costing the company $300 million.
"Our opportunity is not to do something completely different but to do what we do in the best way possible," Pete Nordstrom commented to the paper on this store.
What will be exciting is to see just what sort of merchandise the department store will carry, considering that Nordstrom's most innovative partnerships — the ones that give the rest of the country access to brands like Topshop, Madewell, and Jeffrey — are commonplace here in New York City.