Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Friday, June 23, 2006, 12:01 AM
Actually, swimming in Fifth Avenue condo inventory…
In Peter Slatin’s column Lord & Taylor’s New Master [Forbes.com] he announces that new owners have purchased the shopping chain and speculates that they may have seen hidden value in their real estate holdings. The flagship store may be the source of speculation of future condos?
Although condo conversions have been spreading all along Fifth Avenue, from the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street to south of the Empire State Building at 34th Street, all indications point to a slowing market, and it will take the new owners some time to get plans in place to make significant changes in the property–if that’s what they seek to do.
“Our plan is to operate the company, review every store, understand which should be left alone and which should be modified,” said NRDC principal Richard Baker. “The flagship will be analyzed like everything else–does it need to be that large? Maybe it only needs to be half that large.“
Hotels have gotten all the press lately about their conversion to condo. Could department stores be the next ones to go? Unlikely and there is no real pattern yet. Admittedly I am stretching here, but what about the former Gimbels on 86th and Lexington (a condo)? The former Alexanders on East 58th and Third Avenue (a condo) and a few others.
My angst about this potential conversion is this: My offices are around the corner…
Where am I going to go for that last minute gift?