Moscot Makes Move to 108 Orchard Street Official

108 Orchard Street, Moscot’s home for 77 years.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)  this morning has confirmation of the long-rumored transition of Moscot Eyewear from 118 Orchard Street, where it’s been a fixture for almost 80 years, across the street to 108 Orchard.   The iconic Lower East Side store is taking over the corner spot where the Tenement Museum shop used to be located and the basement on the South side of Delancey Street.

As the Journal notes, Helm Equities bought 118 Orchard during the summer for $4.8 million and also purchased air rights for an undisclosed amount, allowing for a 12-story building on the southeast corner of Orchard and Delancey streets.  David Escava, the owner of Helm Equities, said he offered to keep Moscot but the legendary LES retailer did not want to commit to staying put given the uncertainty about exactly what will be built. Escava indicated a “new national retailer” would probably pay $300 per square foot, triple what Moscot is being charged now.

108 Orchard Street is owned by Baruch Singer.  Moscot has signed a 20-year lease for $70 per square foot.  There are plans for an exhibition space for art and live music.  Joe’s Fabric, which has a small amount of ground floor space will clear out, taking over additional square footage upstairs to accommodate the Moscot move.  “We could have left here (the LES), but it’s hard to separate,” Harvey Moscot, told the Journal. “We cannot dispense with our emotional connection to the neighborhood.”

Moscot hopes to be up-and-running at 108 Orchard by March.