By Laura Kusisto
222 West 44th Street
“High fashion, low prices,” is the slogan Times Square probably wishes it had thought of first.
Discount retailer Daffy’s, which actually pioneered the saying, if not the concept, will open a 28,000-square-foot store in the long-vacant former New York Times building. It’s a sign that the Square’s quest to become the destination of choice for Middle American tourists continues, The Wall Street Journal suggests.
Indeed, the newest arrival confirms that the area continues its debatable improvement from “I Love New York” T-shirts and imitation handbags to faux couture. Other retailers in the area include Forever 21, American Eagle Outfitters and Aeropostale.
Daffy’s will join such newer quirky neighbors as Bowlmor Alleys and the Discovery Times Square Exposition, currently showing a King Tut exhibit. Last month, the broker for the building, Robert K. Futterman, hinted to The Commercial Observer that there had been 60,000 square feet of leases signed recently, so it remains to be seen what other touristy treasure will soon be unwrapped. But at least this seems like welcome news for developer Africa Israel, which bought the place at the top of the market for $525 million.
The Journal reported news of the deal, but no details. Asking rents for ground-floor space are around $300 a square foot annually, Mr. Futterman told The Commercial Observer.