Moscot Finally Confirms Its Move Across Delancey

Posted on: December 11th, 2012 at 8:34 am by

For Moscot, it was deny, deny, deny…until today…

Lana Bortolot of the Wall Street Journal picks up our table scraps and is reporting on the Moscot move across the street to 108 Orchard. As we’ve exclusively chronicled since October, the historic eyewear seller is ditching its longtime HQ at 118 Orchard and moving into the space formerly occupied by the Tenement Museum gift shop. However, contrary to some early intel, Joe’s Fabrics is not going anywhere.

The Journal fills in more meat and potatoes of the story:

Moscot will cross Delancey, where it will occupy the corner storefront and basement at 108 Orchard. Joe’s Fabric Warehouse, which now occupies part of the ground floor, will double its upstairs space and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which also used part of 108 Orchard for storage, opted out of its lease early to allow Moscot to take that space as well.

Helm Equities bought the building in June for $4.8 million with plans to redevelop a mixed-used building—ideally a flagship national retailer—said Helm owner David Escava.

“We offered to keep Harvey there. That last thing we want to do was to force him to vacate after being there for [almost] 80 years,” said Mr. Escava.

To help find another store site, Mr. Moscot enlisted the aid of Mark Miller, president of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District and himself the son of a long-time Orchard Street merchant…Mr. Miller initiated the conversation with the Tenement Museum for its space at 108 Orchard, and Baruch Singer, owner of building, agreed to let the museum end its lease early. Then negotiations with Mimi Sason, the owner of Joe’s Fabric, began for the corner space.

The new space gives Moscot 2,200 square feet on the street level and 2,000 square feet in the basement under a 20-year lease at $70 a square foot. Mr. Moscot plans to retrofit the new shop with his forebears’ quirky store fixtures including the custom Danish wooden drawers scrawled with names such as Zelda and Yosi, frames named after family members and the old paper eye charts.

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