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JC Penney Eyeing Manhattan

Women's Wear Daily reported that JC Penney is on the verge of signing a deal to inhabit Manhattan Mall.

In a move that would reshape New York retailing, sources said Penney's is close to a deal for major space in the Manhattan Mall — one block from Macy's lucrative Herald Square flagship, which is said to generate about $650 million to $675 million in annual volume. Penney's, which has stores in every New York borough except Manhattan, has been trying to find a location in the city for some time. The company is in growth mode, opening about 50 stores a year.

A Penney's spokesman declined comment Thursday, and sources stressed a deal could still fall apart.

Manhattan Mall, a 1 million-square-foot, mixed-use building located on Sixth Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets, has 164,000 square feet of retail space on four levels. About 812,000 square feet of office space is occupied mainly by Bank of America and Interpublic Group. Vornado Realty Trust bought Manhattan Mall from Argent for $689 million in November.

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