Amazon Signs 17-Year Lease On Manhattan Building That Is Totally Not A Store

Amazon's new neighbor. (Joel Zimmer)

Amazon’s new neighbor. (Joel Zimmer)

More than a month ago, there were reports that Amazon planned to rent space in Manhattan across the street from the Empire State Building to expand its own empire into brick-and-mortar retail. While Amazon has signed a lease on space in that building that includes ground-floor retail, the company says that it is not going to use that space. Nope.

An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg News that the space does not represent an expansion of Amazon into real-life selling. “We have leased this building primarily as corporate office space and we intend to sublease to other tenants the ground-floor retail space,” she explained. The building was once a discount department store called Ohrbach’s, and is now mostly office space. There are currently clothing stores in the retail spaces: if the speculation about Amazon opening a retail store was false, presumably they would stay and sublet from Amazon.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have an Amazon Store in such a high-traffic area. Maybe if tourists and influencers could get their hands on a Kindle Phone, the company could sell the rest of them. Saying that the space won’t be a store doesn’t rule out using some of the building as warehouse space for popular items to help the company pull off same-day delivery.

Amazon Leases Office Space on Manhattan’s 34th Street [Bloomberg]

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