Home > Uncategorized > Google abandons plan to open first-ever retail store in New York City

Google abandons plan to open first-ever retail store in New York City

All Photos: Courtesy of Sinvin Real Estate

Google has abandoned plans to open its first-ever retail store in New York City.

The company is trying to sublease a 5,442-square-foot SoHo space it leased last year, and wants$2.25 million annually in rent for it, according to sources.

The decision to abandon its retail store came after the Internet giant spent $6 million renovating the 131 Greene St. location. The outpost was supposed to be one of Google’s first stand-alone stores in the U.S., putting it in direct competition with Apple, which has a host of brick-and-mortar shops that showcase and sell its products in the city, as well as other tech firms with a retail presence. Just last week, Microsoft opened its flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

A spokeswoman for Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to reports, Google planned to begin opening stores to sell products such as the Chromebook, a line of laptops and desktop computers made by several manufacturers that operate on Google software, and smartphones that run its Android operating system. Because Google is subleasing the Greene Street location, it would appear that the company has changed its mind and is pulling back on its plan to open physical stores. However, Google reportedly recently opened a kiosk within a larger electronics store in London earlier this year.

Courtesy of Sinvin Real Estate

Google spent $6 million renovating its space at 131 Greene St.

Google significantly renovated and restored 131 Greene St., removing a portion of the ground floor to create a sunken area in the rear with soaring ceilings, glass skylights and large windows—exposing the brick walls, columns and steel beams of the landmarked building. The exterior was also restored. Google eliminated a concrete step that led to the front of the building and lowered the entryway to street level.

“This is going to be a space for a brand at the top of their field,” said Michael Glanzberg, a principal at the real estate brokerage and advisory group Sinvin Real Estate who is marketing 131 Greene St.’s ground-floor retail. Glanzberg, however, would not confirm that Google was his client. “It’s an extraordinary buildout—architecturally there really is nothing else like it in SoHo,” he added.

The annual asking rent works out to $450 per square foot, a rate that Glanzberg said is in line with other rents on Greene Street. The corridor used to be a less trafficked area of SoHo, but in recent years has become a more upscale and popular shopping district within the neighborhood, with stores such as Dior, Tiffany and Louis Vuitton moving in.

Last month, Glanzberg arranged a deal for Sonos, a maker of wireless audio devices, to take space at nearby 101 Greene St. “The Sonos deal, like Dior, shows how best-in-class retailers continue to choose Greene Street as the place for global flagship branding,” Glanzberg said.

Exposed brick interior at 131 Greene St.

Photo: Courtesy of Sinvin Real Estate

The space at 131 Greene St. features steel columns.
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