7W to maintain showrooms through at least 2015
Gifts & Decorative Accessories -- Home Accents Today, 3/12/2013 4:24:50 PM
NEW YORK - The industry will still have the 7W showroom building to shop for at least several more years. While the building, which has housed a mix of home textiles, gift and tabletop resources since it opened in 2005, is in the process of consolidating wholesale showroom space to its lower floors, it is now confirming it will maintain that space through at least the end of 2015.
According to Chris Collins, vice president and general manager for the building, showrooms will continue to operate on the lower concourse level, the main floor and floors three and four, totaling about 120,000 sq. ft. of space. The balance of the building, about 300,000 sq. ft. on floors five through 12, is being converted into office space, though it has not been leased yet.
7W, which is owned by the large real estate operator Vornado, has been managed through the MMPI unit, which also ran wholesale showroom locations in other cities including Chicago, High Point, NC, Los Angeles and Boston. All but Chicago and New York have been sold off, Collins said, as part of a corporate strategy to largely exit the wholesale showroom business.
"This building, 7W, is in a very high profile location and it's much more valuable as an office building than as a showroom building," said Collins, who said this has been a two-and-one-half-year process to get to this point.
During that period, Collins and the 7W staff have been relocating tenants within the building or helping them to find alternative locations within the area. What will be left by the end of the year will be 28 tenant showrooms, with textiles the single largest product classification represented.
Space on the four remaining floors will be fully leased. As that happens, the building's services and personnel will shift. Collins said he will stay through the transition but "after that my intention is to return to the wholesale side of the trade." Other members of the marketing and leasing team will be leaving during the course of the year, though Vornado will continue to manage the facility.
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- Apr 16, 2013