East 86th Street: A Transformation Continues, But Space Available

(Above L) Future H&M at The Lucida (Above R) Space available at The Brompton

(Above L) Clearing out for Chase, (Above Cent) Circuit City Space (R) Former Party Store

(Above) M. Rohr's - Great Coffee!

The can be little doubt that times are tough in the retail trade, but somehow, East 86th Street seems to continue its transformation. The retail climate on 86th is changing not so much by virtue of store closings, but new space coming on line and possible consolidation. Yes, there have been some closings: the large space that was occupied by Circuit City between Second and Third, and the three shops on the southwest corner of Second Avenue (Cold Stone Creamery, Gothic Cabinet, and Wrap and Roll). Circuit City went bankrupt but had very little frontage. The three stores on Second have been cleared out for what I can now confirm will house a Chase Bank. It is moving from the north side of the Street. I would presume that Chase is moving because its current location is slated to be part of the 86th Street Station for the Second Avenue subway (unconfirmed).

While 86th Street seems to be hanging on pretty well, there is plenty of space coming on line. There is approximately 25,000 square feet of space becoming available inside The Brompton's street level at 86th and Third. There is renovated space on the south side of 86th between Third and Lex which used to house The Party Store and Patterson Silks. Finally, it has been rumored that both Barnes and Noble stores, on 86th (2nd and 3rd) and Lexington (bet. 86th and 87th), are being consolidated into a mammoth B&N at the Lucida. That leaves plenty of space.

Speaking of The Lucida, that is where the good news begins. In addition to the Barnes & Noble, H+M is slated to open this spring, and a Sephora is also rumored to be in the mix in the condo. Also new to the area is Rohr's Coffee, just east of 2nd Ave. Rohr's, which has been around for 130 years or so, relocated from 85th Street after being displaced by The Georgica condominium.

While a glut of space in a recession may not be desirable, it would be fair to say that things are looking up on 86th Street. With three new luxury condos opening soon (Lucida and Brompton in the next couple of months) retailers can retain some optimism. 86th Street has been transforming for years, and while it may take a couple more to complete, the trend leads us to believe that eventually it will be seen as an upscale shopping area. It sure beats the seediness of the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Now we just need a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, and all would be good!


  1. Where have you been? Rohr's is not new to the area. It relocated from around the block on 85th to 86th Street almost three years ago.

  2. "Rohr's, which has been around for 130 years or so, just relocated from 85th Street after being displaced by The Georgica condominium."
    Ok, so they relocated a couple of years ago, but he did say that they've been around longer than dirt.

  3. 86th street is like walking down a Third World street. No matter what new buildings are erected, the area is still decidedly low-scale. HRM? Garbage, cheap goods...not aimed at upscale buyers. The entire section between First and Lex. is not a pleasant shopping experience. The addition of all the street vendors completes the trashing of the area. Good luck Related and Extel. BTW...the Lucidia, the Extel property on 86th and Lex., looks like an office building...not a potential home for many. PLUS...the building was not well built...similar to other Extell properties.

    Wait until tenants/owners experience the noise from the outside traffic, as well as the noise from neighbors...upstairs, downstairs, and to the side.

    The Georgica is much better built...but it is still in a marginal, low-scale area. No onw in the right mind will pay stupid prices to live in this area. The entire commercial zone of 86th street needs to be replaced.

  4. Rumor has it that since B&N is relocating to the ground floor retail space in the Lucida, Whole Foods is moving into the current B&N between 2nd & 3rd on E. 86th. Has anyone else heard this?

  5. Oh man, I wish, I hope! Where did you hear this?
    I know that B and N is consolidating into one huge space at Lucida.

  6. What is difference in the Georgica construction that makes it better than the Lucidia construction? I'm curious to know. Thanks.

  7. It's all in the eye of the beholder!

  8. I think it's a perfect transformation because there were a lot of old buildings there and we have something modern and excellent stores in order to buy and spend our money because I like fashion.


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