Warner Bros. bringing some magic to NYC with opening of Harry Potter store

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Warner Bros. has announced that the much-anticipated Harry
Potter New York will officially open on June 3.

Situated at 935 Broadway in the shadow of the Flatiron
Building, the 20,000 s/f store  will
house the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products in
the world, from pocket money items to rare collectibles.

Spanning three floors, the flagship store will offer
exclusive lines, magical photo opportunities and spellbinding shopping.

“It’s been a really tough period in people’s lives and
by opening the Harry Potter store in the heart of New York City, we’re looking
forward to bringing some magic back into people’s lives,” Karl Durrant, VP
and General Manager of Warner Bros. Retail Destinations told online blog
Entertainment Weekly.

A Cushman & Wakefield team of Laura Pomerantz, Lou D’Avanzo, Michael Baraldi, and Gabrielle Aaron brokered the lease for the former Restoration Hardware store at 161 Fifth Avenue, aka 935 Broadway, in September, 2019, while Richard Hodos, Joel Stephen and Michael Remer from CBRE represented Warner Brothers. The deal won the Real Estate Board of New York’s Most Ingenious Deal of the Year last year for the brokers “diligence, creativity and strategic maneuvering.”

The space was previously home to Restoration Hardware.

According to Warner Bros., the store will feature 15
different themed areas and the entrance lobby will have a massive model of
Fawkes the Phoenix gazing down from the ceiling. Fawkes was created especially
for Harry Potter New York by a team of specialist propmakers over a number of
months. It weighs over 220lbs and is one of many painstakingly detailed,
handmade props, each one created to surprise and delight customers as they
explore.

Photo ops include a London phone box where visitors can make
believe they are transporting themselves into the Ministry of Magic, and an
interactive wand table lets them pick up a wand and put it to the test.

Harry Potter New York will incorporate digital technologies
throughout the store including integration with the Harry Potter Fan Club app.
Users will find a number of Enchanted Keys throughout the store that unlock
exclusive behind-the-scenes facts, figures, and videos that bring the store to
life. Also available for fans will be two multiplayer virtual reality
experiences.

Usually found guarding the entrance to Dumbledore’s office, every aspiring Hogwarts student will recognize the majestic Griffin rotating in the store’s grand main atrium (picture top).

SARAH ROOTS

“The level of artistic detail and quality of the design
inspired by the movies means Harry Potter New York will bring a completely new
shopping experience to the city,” said Sarah Roots, EVP Warner Bros. Worldwide
Tours and Retail.

“With over 1,000 Wizarding World props on display (including
some authentic items which featured in the movies), the incredible theming,
along with experiences such as photo opportunities and the fantastic range of
products, there will be something special for every fan.”

James Mettham, executive director of the Flatiron BID, said
the store opening will bring a big boost to the neighborhood.

“. This one-of-a-kind retail experience will draw Harry
Potter fans from across the world to our neighborhood, catalyzing economic
activity that supports businesses throughout Flatiron and NoMad as they recover
from the devastation of the pandemic,” said Mettham.

“The fact that such an iconic franchise is opening their flagship store in the heart of the Flatiron District bodes well for the future of our neighborhood recovery.”

When it opens, the store will follow all CDC guidelines, with reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing throughout. All customers will be required to wear a face covering when visiting the store.

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