Clothing retailer the Gap is opening two more Banana Republic stores in Manhattan and is in the process of expanding another. Its new outlet at Third Avenue and 86th Street will have 65,000 sf on three levels, while the other at Third Avenue and 65th Street will offer 17,000 sf on two levels. In addition, its store at 111 Eighth Ave. is about to expand from a men’s store into one serving both sexes.

Robert Futterman of Robert K. Futterman & Associates, who brokered the deals, tells that the new locations reflect an ongoing shift in the tone of the surrounding neighborhoods. “Eighty Sixth and Third is probably one of the tightest retail markets in the city,” he says. “It’s a major thoroughfare seven days and nights a week in terms of trade hours. And they’re different markets, completely different customers.” What’s more, the East Side of Manhattan, “up to 79th Street is becoming more fashion oriented. It’s not just Madison Avenue anymore.”

The Gap currently operates 17 Banana Republics here, 335 nationwide. Worldwide it has more than 2,900 outlets including its Gap, GapKids, babyGap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores.