Saks Confirms New Downtown Stores, Office Moves

by Harry Sheff

Hudson’s Bay Company says it has signed leases with Brookfield Property Partners for two downtown Manhattan Saks stores, confirming rumors reported by the Wall Street Journal in July.

An 85,000 sq. ft. Saks Fifth Avenue store will open in Brookfield Place at 225 Liberty Street in spring 2016 and a 55,000 sq. ft. Saks Off Fifth store will open at One Liberty Plaza in 2017. Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has also leased 400,000 sq. ft. of office space in Brookfield Place. The Journal reported in July that the new office would consolidate eight separate offices across the country into one space.

A rendering of Brookfield Place's retail entrance
A rendering of Brookfield Place’s retail entrance

“We are excited about the opening of a second New York City Saks Fifth Avenue store,” said HBC governor and CEO Richard Baker in a statement. “This store will cater to what we believe is an underserved and rapidly growing downtown luxury market, and positioning ourselves in this key center in Manhattan will strengthen our foothold as the ultimate luxury shopping destination. We could not imagine a better and more fitting location for what we consider to be New York City’s preeminent luxury store.”

Baker added that the downtown Saks Off Fifth store “will become the flagship for our growing outlet business, exemplifying our strategy to expand our off-price concept into urban markets.”

Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place, a complex of five office buildings formerly known as the World Financial Center, was developed by Toronto-based Olympia & York in the mid-1980s. Brookfield Office Properties acquired a large stake in 1996 and now owns it and nearby One Liberty Plaza outright. The World Financial Center was renamed Brookfield Place earlier this year.

Its location across West Street from the World Trace Center meant that it suffered some damage in the September 11, 2001 attacks; in addition to some major repairs to one of the buildings and the Winter Garden atrium connecting two of them, the whole complex was renovated in a $250 million project. Part of Brookfield’s reinvention of the complex is a focus on luxury retail.

“These commitments for retail and office space from Hudson’s Bay Company speak to the allure of downtown as both a retail destination and an appealing neighborhood in which to conduct business,” said Brookfield Property Partners’ Dennis Friedrich. “It’s another huge step forward for the area as we witness fashion, creative and media firms flocking downtown. Moreover, Saks Fifth Avenue will anchor the collection of luxury retailers coming to Brookfield Place in 2016 as downtown’s first-ever luxury department store.”

The Saks announcement is one of three major luxury retail changes for the City of New York over the next several years. Neiman Marcus announced earlier this month that it would open its first New York store in the West Side Hudson Yards development along 10th Avenue between 31st and 32nd Streets in 2018. Nordstrom announced in 2012 that its first New York store would open in 225 West 57th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, also in 2018.