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Nike To Depart Space At The Trump Organization's 57th Street Building Five Years Early

The Niketown store at 6 East 57th St. in New York as of November 2016

Nike is leaving its flagship Niketown location in the spring of 2018 as it prepares its new crown jewel a few blocks south.

The shoe retailer announced the upcoming closure of its 65K SF store at 6 East 57th St. on Dec. 4, with the reasoning that it does not afford the flexibilty and floor plans to experiment with improving the retail experience. Nike has five years left on its lease with the building's owner, The Trump Organization, Forbes reports.

Nike fully occupies 6 East 57th St., which sits on prime real estate just off the Fifth Avenue retail corridor and which Forbes estimates is worth about $253M. Nike's new flagship will be within the same retail district at 650 Fifth Ave., where it signed a 15-year lease with SL Green Realty in 2016 for 60K SF. 

While emphasizing that space constraints were the driving cause of the closure and that the move had been in the works for years, Nike employees told Forbes that President Donald Trump's connection with the building was "a factor, to some degree" in the decision. The building is around the corner from Trump Tower, with luxury retailers Gucci and Tiffany's as ground-floor tenants. Tiffany's blamed Trump and his related controversies for a 14% drop in holiday sales in 2016, according to Forbes.

The sheer size of the space will be a challenge in replacing Nike. At five floors, it is the biggest building in The Trump Organization's portfolio to be filled with a single tenant, and a representative from Marcus & Millichap told Forbes only a department store would reasonably have a need for such square footage in the current retail climate — and few department stores are eyeing expansion these days.