Retail

Facebook Eyes Leasing Neiman Marcus Store In Manhattan

Facebook could be looking to buy Neiman Marcus' space in Manhattan.

Facebook could be looking to take over Neiman Marcus' space at Hudson Yards in Manhattan, according to an unnamed source in a Women's Wear Daily report.

The high-end department store chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 7. Such a move allows companies to back out of such arrangements as its 188,000-square-foot lease at the Shops at Hudson Yards, without penalty.

Facebook's interest in the space comes from its 1.5 million-square-foot lease in the same spot. Neiman Marcus' area would add to the space Facebook has for its upcoming development in Hudson Yards, Bloomberg reports.

The struggles of Neiman Marcus are the same as other brick-and-mortar retailers, hobbled by peoples' shift to digital shopping, which has only been supercharged by the pandemic as people were forced to stay indoors.

The space where large retailers once prospered might be used in the future for other things, based more on experiences than basic commerce. Jeff Blau, CEO of New York-based real estate firm Related Companies, a developer of the Shops at Hudson Yards, said vacated space at shopping centers were full of possibilities for future apartments or office space.

Facebook's presence in Manhattan, once it moves in, would count it among the area's biggest corporate tenants. The office would also be near space slated for eCommerce titan Amazon, which has a lease for 350,000 feet at Hudson Yards east of where Facebook is planning to move.

Google has plans to expand its New York City footprint within the next decade, too, with an eye toward adding new offices and 7,000 employees there.

Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck said in a statement that the bankruptcy didn't mean the end for the company and he hoped it wouldn't affect their reopening plans. But he said the perils of the pandemic had unfortunately "placed inexorable pressure on our business."

"This is simply a process that allows our Company to alleviate debt, access additional capital to run the business during these challenging times, and emerge a stronger company with the ability to better serve you and continue our transformation over the long term," he said.

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