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SAN FRANCISCO-Barneys New York says it will open a flagship store in the tony Union Square shopping district next year. The wholly owned subsidiary of publicly held Jones Apparel Group says the 60,000-sf store will open at 48 Stockton St. in fall 2007.

Barneys is filling out a six-story building that has stood largely vacant since 2002, when FAO Schwartz vacated the corner location. The details of the lease were not immediately available. Building owner Stockton Street Properties referred calls to Madison Marquette, which did not return phone calls seeking comment. The landlord’s broker in the deal, Vikki Johnson of Johnson Hoke, also was unavailable.

Barneys will be the sixth department store within a five-block area. Bloomingdale’s will open a flagship at San Francisco Centre in September. Others include Nordstrom, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks.

Barneys’ CEO Howard Socol says opening a San Francisco flagship has been an objective of the company ever since Barneys first commenced its expansion outside of New York several years ago. The company plans to restore much of what was originally on the facade of the 1909 former department store building and add ornamental staircases from floor to floor.

The store will be Barneys’ fourth new flagship location. Barneys opened a store in Copley Place in Boston in March of this year. This September, it will open a flagship in NorthPark Center in Dallas. Finally, right around the time the San Francisco store is set to open, a third new Barneys will open as part of the expansion of the Venetian Resort Hotel complex in Las Vegas. Barneys also operates three regional full-price stores, 10 CO-OP Barneys New York stores, 12 outlet stores and hosts two semi-annual warehouse sale events.

In May, a three-level building at the corner of Powell and O’Farrell streets, on the same block as 48 Stockton, changed hands for $12.6 million, or $1,575 per sf. The 200 Powell building shares the intersection with Starbucks and H&M, a hip UK-based clothing retailer. It was acquired by Blatteis & Schnur Inc., a Los Angeles-based national retail brokerage firm that is now also investing in real estate with Washington, DC-based ASB Capital Management.

The street and second levels of the building have 17- and 18-foot ceilings, respectively; the basement level has 13-foot ceilings. Sam Brownell, director of acquisitions for Blatteis & Schnur, tells GlobeSt.com the business plan includes a full interior and exterior renovation. Among other things, the building will receive a full seismic renovation and the historical facade will be uncovered and restored to its luxury art deco design. Ultimately, the space will be leased to a premier retailer looking for a flagship location, he says.

Both 48 Stockton and 200 Powell sit between Union Square and the newly expanded Westfield San Francisco Centre. Ground floor space on Union Square goes for more than $400 per sf per year, according to local brokers.

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