Amazon signs deal for 470,000 square feet in Manhattan

Amazon has signed a deal to lease 470,000 square feet in Manhattan for 17 years, a real estate trust confirmed today.

Rumors are that the location will serve as the retail giant’s first brick-and-mortar location, which will include a small warehouse for same-day delivery in New York. Amazon says it will use the space as corporate office space and sublease the retail portion.

“We have leased this building primarily as corporate office space and we intend to sublease to other tenants the ground floor retail space,” spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said in a statement.

Vornado Realty Trust confirmed in a short statement that Amazon signed the deal for 7 West 34th St., which is in the shadow of the Empire State Building.

Reports last month indicated Amazon was planning to open an experimental retail store in New York, which would showcase a few of the retailer’s flagship products. It would also offer a space for customers to return products in person.

Amazon could also use the space as offices for its growing publishing arm. That would be incredibly controversial in the publishing capital of the world, where many publishers set up shop. Amazon had a recent battle with Hachette Publishing Group over ebook pricing.

Retail analysts told the PSBJ last month that it’s doubtful the store will function like a traditional retail store. Instead, it will act more like a service center.
The move into physical retailing would be a big move for the e-commerce giant. Retailing is an entirely different beast that requires a new strategy and costs, such as employees, real estate and managing inventory.

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