For over three years, the 10,000 square foot hulking structure sitting at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 8th Street in Greenwich Village has remained vacant after long-time tenant, mega-book seller Barnes & Noble closed on December 31st, 2012. Reason given for vacating: a “huge rent hike.” A sign placed in the window after the closure read “CLOSED FOREVER.” (It was soon removed.)
Nine months after the store shuttered, this blog got a tip that TD Bank was coming to 396 Avenue of the Americas. This was confirmed by DNAinfo; a bank spokesperson told the site, “The bank will open in 2015.”
Alterations to the building were submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on September 4, 2013 and were approved. Changes included: “installing signage, including resurfacing the existing sign panel at each street facade with dark green metal (Pantone 5535) and applying pin mounted aluminum signage, including a green (Pantone 361) square logo with white letters (“TD”), a green stripe, and 18″ tall white letters (“Bank”)”
After the structure had been vacant for over two years with no signs of construction, TD Bank corporate office, when contacted, hedged in their response, not acknowledging how close they had come to taking over the space. It was apparent they’d moved on, why was not stated.
If there was any question, it has now been answered. A “Retail Space for Lease” sign has appeared on the upper level of the front of the building (possibly to get the attention of billionaires with helicopters?). Lease of the space is being handled by Cushman & Wakefield.
If Barnes & Noble and TD Bank can’t hack it, what can?
Cushman & Wakefield listing says there are three floors (Lower, Ground, Second) totaling 10,920 square feet.
Some background (Spring 2015), Former Sixth Avenue Barnes & Noble Site will not be a TD Bank:
On December 31st, 2012, Barnes & Noble at Sixth Avenue and West 8th Street closed. A bookstore had been there at this corner location for years; Barnes & Noble had taken over the space from the B. Dalton chain (the corner had previously been the home of a Nathan’s hot dogs restaurant). People had a mixed relationship to Barnes & Noble over the years viewing it as a chain that had gobbled up the independent book stores. (Some thought the closure was karma.) West 8th Street for years at one time had its own thriving indie bookstore scene.
Nine months after the store shuttered, this blog got a tip that TD Bank was coming to 396 Avenue of the Americas. This was confirmed by DNAinfo; a bank spokesperson told the site, “The bank will open in 2015.” And yet, the space has remained vacant with no visible construction.
WSP Blog reached out to TD Bank and a spokeswoman commented, “We do not have specific details for this particular site. We are currently researching this and other locations in Manhattan, but have not finalized any Store openings at this time.”
And yet they had confirmed it back in 2013. Something must have gone astray. Is it possible TD Bank could not afford the rent there?
What will become of this highly visible corner?
Funny how I (sorry) sort of miss the Barnes & Noble. That big hulking empty building just looks so sad.
The space was charming when it was one level – as it was when Nathan’s was there (below).
The longer this behemoth sits there empty, it somehow just looks worse and worse.
Photos 1, 3, 5, 6: Cathryn
Image #2: Cushman & Wakefield building listing
Photo #4: Unknown