By Allison Zisko
NEW YORK-- Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. will offer 18,000 square feet of temporary space at 7 W New York, beginning with the tabletop show next April.
The 11th-floor, "gallery-esque" space is being billed as an opportunity for vendors to test the New York market, or get their foot in the door in what is a competitive market arena.
"It opens what had been a closed [market]," said Craig Dooley, vice president of marketing for MMPI. "It makes a well-trafficked building open to big buyers and offers an opportunity to [others]."
The space would also be available for rental for events and various other functions.
MMPI operates similar temporary spaces in its buildings in Chicago and Los Angeles. The space, which will cost roughly $32 per square foot, has a modular, hard wall configuration, not "pipe and drape." Dooley touted the prime location in Midtown, saying that "18,000 square feet in the middle of Manhattan is hard to come by."
Dooley described the temporary space as "industry changing. There's more reason to come to 7 W, more reason to come to 7 W during market week."
"For the past 10 years, manufacturers could not enter the tabletop market unless they had a permanent showroom in one of the wholesale buildings' 7 W being one of them," added Chris Collins, vice president and general manager of 7 W. "The Market Suites at 7 W will change all that."
Offers will go out to existing prospects who have expressed interest in the space. Dooley estimated there is room for about 100 showrooms. "Hopefully we will be in a position to open it to a lottery," he said, with proverbial fingers crossed.