Amazon Shops for Real Estate in New York City
Amazon is taking over an entire building on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building, according to construction and real estate executives, raising questions about just what the giant retailer is up to.
The property, at 7 West 34th Street, is 12 stories. The executives said Amazon would use the building for offices and a distribution center.
This week, Amazon abruptly pulled out of a deal for a large block of space at 1133 Avenue of the Americas.
The retailer has no brick-and-mortar presence in Manhattan or, for that matter, anywhere else. So the deal ignited intense speculation that perhaps Amazon was going to do something that has been endlessly rumored: open an old-fashioned store.
The prospect of a store was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
But whether there will be an Amazon store any time soon on 34th Street seems an open question.
The two retail outlets in the building, a Mango and an Express store, recently signed new leases. Juliana Ochoa, store manager at the Mango store, said the retailer had no plans to move out of its space. “I’ve never heard of Amazon coming here,” she said.
An Amazon spokesman declined to comment. Lisa Vogel, a spokeswoman for Vornado Realty Trust, which owns the building, did not return calls for comment.
The building, near Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square, has been undergoing major renovations since December, said Miriam Gonzalez, an employee at an import-export company there.
During the renovations, the front entrance was off limits to occupants, she said. But that entrance reopened about two weeks ago, installed with what looked like new metal detectors.
Ms. Gonzalez said that many tenants had moved out, but that other businesses, mostly corporate offices, remained on the upper floors.
An engineer at the building on Thursday said that there was a showroom space at the back of the building, which faces 35th Street, and that it was not in use. The doors and windows to what appeared to be that space looked as if they had been sealed for some time.