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Fabric store takes lofty perch

May 5, 2003 DEAL OF THE WEEK Fabric store takes lofty perch By Shira Boss, Special to May 5, 2003-- After 45 years in a multi-level storefront on West 40th Street near Eighth Avenue, B&J Fabrics is being forced to move shop. Their current location is being condemned to make way for the new headquarters of The New York Times. For three generations, B&J has supplied fashion and home fabrics to a broad group of customers who range from hobbyists to fashion houses. The family-owned business wanted to disturb as little as possible in its move. They gave their brokers from Adams & Co. very specific requirements: an affordable and spacious storefront located in a slice of the garment district from 38th to 40th Streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues. After a year of searching, space proved elusive. "We spoke to every landlord in the area and canvassed every building and eliminated every possibility in their target range," says Arthur Spitalnick, the tenant's broker. "Everything that was available was too small or too expensive, and everything else was locked up long term." B&J refused to budge from the garment center, and compromised on a second-floor location. What swung the deal was not only a raw space of more than 15,000 square feet with lots of windows, but the building itself: the Fashion Center Building at 525 Seventh Avenue. B&J will now be under the same roof as some of its major customers, including Nicole Miller, Badgely Mishka and Sean John, and the raw space will let the fabric house build a more efficient layout. "Sometimes things work out for the best," says Scot Cohen, who runs the business with his father, Mel Cohen. "Our move is putting us in an even better location." The move to the new space is planned for August. THE DEAL Who: B&J Fabrics Inc. What: 15,568 square feet Where: Fashion Center Building, 525 Seventh Avenue Asking price: $39 per square foot Lease: 15 years Landlord: 525 Seventh Avenue Landlord's brokers: Mark Horowitz and Bob Savitt, Kaufman Adler Realty Tenant's brokers: Arthur Spitalnick and Joey Friedman, Adams & Co. Real Estate
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