Monday, January 14, 2013

☞ SHOP: Gap Outlet Arriving on 125th Street

A Bespoke reader just sent in the above image of the Gap Outlet shop set to open on 125th Street.  The location is just east of Frederick Douglass Boulevard and appears to be under construction at this point. There is already a successful Old Navy on Harlem's commercial corridor but the The Gap has not made its presence until now.

34 comments:

  1. This is the old Lazarus storefront that was dismantled recently.

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  2. great news! all we need now is a Banana Republic to complete the 3 and we will really be moving places!

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  3. This is good and all, but we don't need more chains. H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Duane Reade, CVS, Applebee's, and the rest don't make the neighborhood interesting or charming. Instead, these places make the neighborhood resemble every other suburban place in the USA (minus the general conveniences that suburbs offer--parking, reduced crime, better schools, etc.).

    Please stop the short-sighted crowing for Banana Republic. Get your soulless, ordinary middle-America shopping done in midtown or in Jersey.

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  4. But it's not even a proper GAP. It's an outlet. Ugh.

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    1. Late to the party here but I love the GAP outlets. Always good stuff and great prices. I'm very excited to have more bargain shopping in Manhattan. I live downtown and am happy to go uptown for this...and will probably support a local restaurant or coffee shop.

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  5. Is this really an "outlet" store or is it a full-price retail store? If it's an outlet, it's evident that GAP doesn't think much of my neighborhood.

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    1. Gap owns Old Navy which is also on 125th street. At Magic Johnson's

      So I'm not sure that its all that much of a slight to the neighborhood, to be honest.


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    2. The photo above indicates that it's a Gap "Factory Store"... so, yeah.

      Not sure I agree with your assessment that an outlet store is such a downscale feature, however.

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  6. Are local businesses employing the locals at the same rate as the chains are?

    I can hate the Target Mall all I want but it's putting more folks to work than all the clothing stores on east 116th back in the day ever did.

    Minimum Wage isn't much, but its better than nothing, and I don't see anybody else hiring in bulk.

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  7. that's a bit harsh there, no, Christopher? I'd love a bunch of small boutiques, mom & pop shops and unique restaurants too, but the reality is that those places can barely survive even in places like Soho, let alone on 125th St in Harlem. And they especially can't survive if they charge prices that the majority of Harlem would consider reasonable. Boutiques selling $500 t-shirts just aren't gonna work up here - nor should they. And nearly anything is better than an empty store or vacant lot!

    Now if only we can encourage the interesting and charming businesses (at reasonable price points) to open up on some of the lower-rent side streets (not unlike what is *slowly* beginning to happen), that would be a great combination, no? Something for everyone, and fewer vacant buildings.

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  8. While I'm all for the unique stores that make the neighborhood, having bigger businesses brings tax revenue and these are only along 125th (kind of like 34th or 14th or several stretches of Broadway on the UWS). And tax revenue/ business presence brings greater city attention to the concerns of the neighborhood such as crime, quality of MTA service and road maintenance. Plus why should we need to go to Midtown to do our shopping?

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  9. Sorry, but it just feels a little short-sighted to bring in big box stores to give short-term jobs at low wages. I'm not saying smaller, independent stores are the answer (though large swaths of Brooklyn seem to have quite a large amount of them--and I don't just mean hipster enclaves, either).

    If it's ONLY minimum wage jobs that we want (consequences be damned), let's just start opening chemical plants. This "tax revenue" goes to the city, not to the neighborhood. And Staples/Marshall's/CVS really don't do anything specific in the community with the money--you realize none of these chains has any connection to the area, right? The benefits are skewed to their home offices elsewhere.

    This attitude is what caused so much of Florida to be overdeveloped with no regard for consequences. And California. And Ohio...

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  10. Gap outlets are actually kind of great - there are not many in NYC - I only know of one along the Fulton St Mall in Brooklyn - but you can get great deals there on basics and they are slightly better quality than Old Navy (even though they are owned by the same company.)

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    1. I worked in retail with many former Gap employees. They always referred to Old Navy as The Gap Outlet so not sure why the need to put another low-quality Gap store on the block. When I learned from the construction workers that the space was going to be a Gap I was a little excited, but now that it is going to be an Outlet- not so much.

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  11. I am actually in favor of more chain stores putting their outlet stores on 125th street. That will surely drive people northwards who are looking for great deals on clothes. More traffic equals more businesses and more progress.

    Unfortunately, fabromsil , even with all of the fantastic changes that have happened here in Harlem over the past decade, with the huge amount of housing projects, this neighborhood will never fully mesh into the Upper West Side or East Harlem into the Upper East Side.. You will only have pockets of great areas like lower FDB etc.. So, for these chain stores to bring their outlets to 125th street makes sense as the prices will be low enough for both residents and other New Yorkers looking for excellent deals. To me , it is a win-win situation.

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  12. The 125th St. corridor is a big stretch. There is plenty of space for the big box places and the boutique places. Not many neighborhoods in Manhattan are making it without having any chains in the area.

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    1. Hoods not making it without any chains in the area? What does this even mean?

      If you mean that many Manhattan hoods have been at least partially ruined by chain stores than I can see what you are saying.

      Too many folks on this site seen to applaud ANY new development in Harlem regardless of what it is.

      You do realize that chains on 125th street means higher rents for everyone on 125th street right?

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    2. So what is your proposal for keeping rents low?

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  13. The Gap? Old Navy? Banana Republic? Aren't they all well past their sell-by date?

    I may not be in the first full blush of youth but damned if I’m shopping at these stale big box stores.

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  14. Higher rents on 125th might be a good thing... Maybe this will drive out many of the low brow stores like all of the gold-for-cash businesses..
    We need something better on 125th street.

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    1. Nothing wrong with pawns. If people didn’t need ’em they wouldn’t have been in business for so long.

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    2. And if there was no demand for the Gap , they wouldn't open one.

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    3. True, dat.

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  15. The over-proliferation of chain stores is not just an issue for 125th street, but all of NYC and the entire country. Not sure what exactly can be done about it, however it is a bit unrealistic to think that 125th can somehow be immune to this national reality. Times have changed.

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  16. I'd be all for Hotels, Jazz Museums and all that other high falutin stuff but they never actually seem to get built. Can't work in a place that doesn't exist.

    At least Gap, Red Lobster and the rest actually follow thru with thier plans. They are responsible for more than half the new construction around here.

    People act like we've never had chain stores in Harlem prior to now. 15 years ago all that was on that commercial drag was Avenue, Jimmy Jazz, Dr. Jay's, KFC's and stuff like that.

    At least now you can buy something around here that isn't fried chicken, baby clothes or sneakers.



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  17. People continually whining about chain stores show a pretty wanton disregard to the realities of economics.

    There is nothing bad about this news.

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  18. The realities of economics? What's that even mean?

    I don't want to live in Paramus. You need to get out more, Joe. I know businesses are good for the neighborhood, but sheesh! What's the point of living in [insert neighborhood here] if I'm eating at Red Lobster, for God's sake?

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    1. Because many of your neighbours shop at Conway or similar stores and dinner at Red Lobster is a Big Deal. This way they don't have to schlep to Times Square or the Bronx. They can eat in the neighbourhood. I’m not a fan of Applebees but it’s always full with people who live or work in the surrounding area.

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    2. I really agree on Applebee's and I expect the same of Red Lobster. I like them for the same reason I like Red Rooster and Corner Social - because there are plenty of people in the neighborhood who like them, so they are lively and active places. They provide a service people want, they provide jobs people want, and they renovated space that at least for a while people didn't seem to want. The more diversified our restaurant and retail sector is, the better. Notar, Whole Foods, Gap Outlet, Applebee's, and Joe's Crab Shack - they'll all do great because they'll all have something that somebody in Harlem wants.

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    3. Couldn't agree more with you two. The more residents of Harlem can shop and eat in our own neighborhood instead of having to go to midtown the better. Much better!

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  19. I think that when discussing the place of new businesses coming to Harlem we need to look at the 'where' and the 'what' on a case by case basis. I think most people agree that they do not wish to lose the 'essence' of Harlem or alter the fundamental DNA of the neighborhood. That is why there are always proponents of ascribing landmark status to certain places or institutions. That's why there are efforts to preserve brownstones and keep zoning standards maintain the character of the neighborhood. No one wants to lose the Apollo, St. Nick's, or Minton's. At the same time many in Harlem see the arrival of certain types of businesses as a validation of sorts for the neighborhood;a sense that there is indeed demand for products retail/food)uptown and that the business ecosystem supports what we would consider 'chain' stores and 'big box' stores. However, the two goals are not mutually exclusive. Major business arteries such as 181 ST, 125th ST, 42nd ST, etc are meant for such businesses to thrive.They rely on each other to drive overall traffic UP and bring patrons/customers from all over the city in addition to providing points of sale for the immediate neighborhood population. This is turn also increases traffic to all the sub-arteries attached to it(Lenox Ave, ACP Blvd, FDB Blvd).All these businesses can coexist without any being detrimental to the other. These main boulevards will always tout higher per-sq.-footage prices because of their natural location.It is built into the business model of urban economics. It's good for Gap Outlet, Red Lobster, and Chuckie Cheese to be where they are. Their brand ensures that they will be around for the medium to long-term and can afford to pay the rents. It allows smaller businesses nearby to capitalize on this certainty to then attract more patrons. I see it as win-win.

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    1. Good thoughts and great response!

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  20. All major crosstown streets (14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, E 86th) are filled with chain stores. While I'm not a fan, why exactly would 125th be any different? The more interesting stores/restaurants will exist on the side streets and avenues.

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