Extell's Central Park (neé Nordstrom) Tower is still years from being a real, tangible thing, but it may already be affecting the neighborhood in which the hulking supertall is due to rise. DNAInfo reports that many of the storefronts near the tower's footprint are sitting empty, possibly because landlords are banking on the ability to ask for higher rents once the building (and its Nordstrom flagship store) open.
According to the report, there are 13 retail spaces that are currently empty in the area between 53rd Street and Central Park along Seventh Avenue; the tower itself is planned for 57th Street and Seventh Avenue. Some of those storefronts have been empty for more than two years, which just so happens to coincide with when the plans for the Extell skyscraper were approved.
So is it coincidence or landlords hoping to drive up prices? Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer thinks it's the latter; she told DNAINfo, "absolutely that when you have a large store like Nordstrom coming, the owners nearby are holding out to see what could successfully compete." Brokers who spoke with DNAInfo confirmed that the building, and its retail base, is already being used in advertisements for retail and residential properties as a selling point.
And the piece mentions the concept of "high-rent blight," in which landlords raise prices on properties (and refuse to lower them, even after years of vacancy), and push older businesses out in the process. Fingers crossed that's not what ends up happening here.