Will Nine West Shoes Fit on Nassau?: Company Signs Short-Term Lease for Downtown Outlet-Style Store

By Lore Croghan

Published on May 10, 1999

Nine West Group Inc. is testing a new store concept in Manhattan.

The country's largest maker of women's dress shoes picked the downtown insurance district as the first place in the city to open a Bannister Shoe Warehouse.

This outlet-style store is stocked with an array of the company's brands, including Nine West, Easy Spirit, Bandolino and Enzo Angiolini. The shoes are bargain-priced at around $15 to $40 a pair to move fast.

Nine West rented 11,200 square feet of ground-level and basement space at 80 Nassau St., between Fulton and John streets. Asking retail rents in the area are around $100 a square foot.

The initial lease runs for just nine months. If the warehouse meets with a favorable reception, Nine West can exercise a 10-year renewal option and stay put. If New Yorkers don't warm to the concept, Nine West won't be stuck in a money-losing situation.

Many building owners refuse to do deals of this sort because they want to lock in long-term commitments from tenants at the outset, says Candice Dobbs, the president of brokerage firm Dobbs Associates Inc. She negotiated the 80 Nassau lease on Nine West's behalf with building owner Time Equities Inc.

To find a landlord willing to accept Nine West's terms, she sought out storefronts that had been vacant for a long time, so their owners would feel they had nothing to lose by taking on a short-term tenant.

Though the Bannister site has been empty for a couple years, it's a good location for the new store because of heavy foot traffic on Nassau Street and the presence of other discounters.

Nine West is shooting for a late June opening for the outlet. In the meantime, it is looking for Manhattan sites for one or two more of the warehouses.


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