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Though FAO Schwarz won't confirm that they're officially leaving midtown for New Jersey, real estate executives are already making plans for the 64,000-square-foot store just off of Fifth Avenue. "The FAO Schwarz space is going to go through a major renovation and downtime as part of any re-leasing," Boston Properties Inc. president Douglas Linde said on a conference call, according to Crain's New York. That might including carving up the space for several tenants, unless someone "that could use that much space" comes along.
"It's possible that we may be able to work with FAO to expedite this transition sooner than the expiration of their lease," Linde added. It's previously been rumored that the toy store would jump ship before their lease expires in 2017, though a spokeswoman for its parent company, Toys R Us, told the business publication that it is "continuing to evaluate lease-renewal options...beyond that, there is no further update at this time." The Toys R Us flagship in Times Square might face a similar fate as well).
Crain's says that FAO is currently paying $260 per square foot at 767 Fifth Avenue, which is thousands of dollars below what others are paying at similar addresses. It's possible that Boston Properties won't get top prices from its new tenant(s), though, since less than a quarter of the space is on the ground floor. According to a financial analyst on the call, "the market will let us know."