A discount shoe emporium is set to move into a former Borders in Syosset, in a sign that the defunct bookseller's closed Long Island outposts are not staying vacant for long.
Designer Shoe Warehouse signed a lease last month for the 26,650-square-foot Jericho Turnpike space, according to Cliff Sondock of Spiegel Associates in Jericho, which owns the property. The shoe store is expected to open in late fall, Sondock said.
A DSW representative could not be reached Tuesday.
"There's not a lot of space available, so it's not been difficult to re-lease them," Sondock said of the former book chain's locations on Long Island. Borders filed for bankruptcy and closed all its stores last year, including its last six stores on Long Island.
The Borders bankruptcy filing was an epochal event, as the chain, which in its day caused many independent booksellers to close, itself fell prey to changes such as the advent of e-books.
On Long Island, the Borders shops have generated much more interest among tenants than some other failed chains, such as Circuit City, whose locations were much bigger, said Jeremy Isaacs, a director at Ripco Real Estate in Jericho, which handles leasing for five former Borders shops.
Ripco secured new tenants for three former Borders stores this year, including one location where a bidding war broke out, Isaacs said. Even so, landlords are collecting rents that are roughly 20 percent to 25 percent lower than Borders paid when it signed leases a decade ago, he said. Potential tenants declined to buy the Borders leases in bankruptcy auctions last year, preferring instead to negotiate their own deals with individual landlords, Isaacs said.
Retail rents have dropped since the 2008 financial crisis, and landlords recognize that, Isaacs said. "It's just a reflection of the re-pricing of real estate," he said. "Nobody likes to get less rent, but they're realistic as to what tenants are out there and what the market holds, and they're just happy to get another tenant in there."
The new tenants for the former Borders stores include a Michael's Store in Stony Brook, as well as a Designer Shoe Warehouse due to open in Riverhead in August and a T.J. Maxx expected for Farmingdale in October, Isaacs said. Retailers have expressed interest in two other former Borders shops, which Ripco hopes will be leased by the end of the year, he said.