August 7, 2014 - 13:51 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Tech giant Microsoft is in negotiations to open its first ever New York City retail store on Fifth Ave., NY Daily News reported, citing sources.
The deal, at 677 Fifth Ave. near 53rd St., would give Microsoft a splashy presence on the top retail corridor in the country and put it just a stone's throw from its biggest rival Apple’s iconic glass cube store.
"For Microsoft to land on Fifth Avenue just a few blocks from Apple would certainly be interesting," said Faith Hope Consolo, a top retail broker with Douglas Elliman, who was not involved in the deal. "It would be very dramatic."
The 8,700-square-foot, two-story space eyed by Microsoft was last occupied by luxury fashion brand Fendi, which departed the building last year for a spot on Madison Ave.
Rents for ground floor stores on prime Fifth Ave., are the priciest in the nation and have been topping $3,500 per square foot in recent deals, Consolo said.
Microsoft has a track record of setting up shop near Apple stores, where it can go head to head with its competitor at close proximity. It has reportedly used that tactic numerous times at its Palo Alto outposts. The company last flirted with New York retail in 2012, when it opened a temporary pop-up store in Times Square for the holidays. It’s been on the hunt for a more permanent home since then, NY Daily News says.