Contact Us

What's Old Is New: Retailers and Developers Are Going Historic


If it wasn’t already clear from our list last week, historic properties can get new lives if a creative mind approaches them. The 131-year-old Villard Mansion on Madison Avenue (pictured)—with 16-foot-high ceilings and small rooms—serves as an example. Abandoned for three years, the Villard became hot after menswear website Trunk Club made the Mansion its first brick-and-mortar property in NYC.


These unorthodox thinkers—including Apple (with stores in Grand Central (pictured below) and SoHo) and Warby Parker (pictured above)—are making historic properties the new hot thing, standing out from steel and glass, and creating an unique impression for their consumers. While the high maintenance and renovation costs present a big risk, and working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission can be a pain, historic properties continue to be a hit with consumers seeking a unique experience.


And developers—such as Madison Realty Capital, which paid $20.4M for a 41.4k SF condo building at the Williamburgh Savings Bank Tower in Brooklyn—are already picking up on the trend. But, with some landmarked buildings not having the same appeal as others, you should jump on landmark properties with a lot of traffic now before they go the way of the dodo. [Crain's]