Like a metaphor for a city always cycling through changes to its retail landscape, the ferris wheel at Toys "R" Us has been spinning for 14 years. But the final revolution will happen today. There is no word yet on how the life size T. Rex will be exiting the building.
Mom and pop stores aren't the only business being pushed out of their leases by ever-escalating New York City rents. Toys "R" Us can't afford to renew the lease on their 110,000 square-foot prime retail space because, well no one could afford it.
The behemoth retail space will be divided into parcels for flagship locations for Gap, Old Navy, and possibly other retailers. Fortune reports the ground floor retail space at $2500 per square foot. For Toys "R" Us' current 25,000-square-feet of ground floor space that would be a monthly rent bill of $52.5 million per month—not including the remaining 85,000 square feet of second floor and lower level space ($350 per square foot and $150 per square foot, respectively).
The line that stretched up Broadway this morning before the store opened has dissipated. You can currently walk right on into the store, but you will have to wait for one of the final rides on the 60-foot ferris wheel.
Toys 'R' Us is still looking for a Manhattan location, but this iconic stop for people who "don't wanna grow up" will close its doors forever today at 6pm.