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We knew this day was coming—we just didn't know it would be so soon. Bloomberg reports that FAO Schwarz will exit 767 Fifth Avenue on July 15th, a full two years ahead of its official lease expiration. Though the iconic toy store has moved locations several times in its century-plus history, this will be the first time Manhattan has gone without it since 1862.
"The company is committed to the FAO Schwarz brand and growing its legacy," Parent company Toys 'R' Us said in an e-mail to the business publication. "While we are sad to say goodbye to our current location, we are excited about the opportunity to create a new flagship location in New York City that will no doubt delight generations of children to come."
And though it has yet to be confirmed, that flagship could be just north of Times Square at 1633 Broadway, in addition to the outpost planned across the river that was at one time slated to be their only location. During this transition, FAO-branded products will still be available in Toys 'R' Us stores and online, and the brand is working on moving the 200-plus employees at FAO Schwarz to other retail locations.
As for the fate of 767 Fifth Avenue? It'll likely be chopped up. "We obviously have a plan, and we expect to take several steps to improve that whole retail area," John Powers of real estate firm Boston Properties, Inc. told Bloomberg.
"It's a sign of the times," added Faith Hope Consolo, expert real estate agent. "It's very exciting for Fifth Avenue. We're going to get a new retailer, so we can all spend more money."