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 108 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.

Kenny Moscot: Embracing L.E.S. Roots is Good Business

Kenny Moscot

Kenny Moscot remembers spending summers on the Lower East Side when he was a kid, hanging out in the family store and picking up a few life lessons along the way. These days he’s doing a bit more than “hanging out.”  Along with his older brother Harvey, Kenny has successfully transformed eyewear institution Sol Moscot from a “mom and pop” store into an internationally revered brand.

Recently, I spoke with Kenny about the changes the family business has undergone in the past century (particularly in the last few years) and about Moscot’s deep neighborhood roots.

There’s always a lot of talk about the death of old-style retail businesses on the LES.   Notably, Moscot has not only endured in this community, they have embraced the company’s humble beginnings on the Lower East Side as a way of distinguishing their products worldwide.