Steven Greenfield, Toy Executive
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From The New York Observer

December 10, 2006 | 7:00 p.m

HOW EXHAUSTING. FIRST, THE TOY INDUSTRY industry learned that it’s getting kicked out of its longtime home at 200 Fifth Avenue to make way for—what else?—new residential condos. Then it found space on Church Street. Then it didn’t. Then it found space way on the West Side, on 11th Avenue. Then it didn’t. Now, there’s a good chance that these babes may never find a city-based toy land. “I’m very worried that we won’t find a home, and this will force the entire toy industry out of New York City,” said Steven Greenfield, the president at Salo Ventures, who has been leading the industry’s efforts in the city. “It’s been very tough and very frustrating, and there are very few choices available to us.” “There’s clearly a possibility that the industry may survive with the temporary shows and the temporary locations every year, but whether that’s a longtime survival is a question mark,” said Moshe Sukenik of Newmark Knight Frank, who reps the industry. It’s a tough deal to broker, because the toy industry needs show space—the type of space where you have (an ungodly) 200 tenants on a lease who display their latest toys during, say, the current holiday season. They also need a lot of that space. Mr. Greenfield said he hopes to find 150,000 to 175,000 square feet. A nearly closed deal at 636 11th Avenue, for more than 150,000 square feet, fell through earlier this year when the toy industry couldn’t secure 50 necessary tenants, Mr. Greenfield said. This came right after an even larger deal fell through on Church Street last year. Mr. Greenfield said the industry is now looking at a spot between 30th and 34th streets off Seventh Avenue—he wouldn’t confirm the address—but it may be a last-ditch hope. Just like manufacturing generally in New York, the century-long toy industry’s stay may be rolling toward an inexorable end. “Most of the landlords want deals with large law firms, not smaller and multiple tenants,” said Mr. Greenfield. “They’re quite greedy when things are going their way.”



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