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Nordstrom will open off-price store in former Borders space in downtown D.C. this spring

Nordstrom, the Seattle-based high-end fashion retailer, plans to open its first off-price location in downtown Washington in spring 2013.

The department store chain said its new Nordstrom Rack will occupy 35,000 square feet at the 1800 L Street NW building, the street level of the former Borders book store.

“We want to be a part of compelling locations across the country and are looking forward to getting our doors open to more conveniently serve our customers in Northwest D.C.," Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack, said in a press release posted on the company’s website.

The 1800 L building is owned and managed by Somerset Partners LLC, a New York-based private investment firm. According to its website, the asking rents in the location have increased since 2009 from $40 to $70 per square foot.

Nordstrom’s spokesperson Kendall Ault said the company was searching for the “right location” in Washington to fit a Rack store. Downtown D.C. is home to clothing stores like H&M, Zara, Macy’s, and Forever 21, among others.

“We’re really encouraged to be surrounded by a great mix of retailers. That’s really important to us,” Ault said in a phone interview. “This is a terrific location.”

Ault said Nordstrom plans to hire approximately 70 employees from the D.C. area starting mid-February.

Nordstrom has grown from a shoe store that opened in 1901 to an upscale department store chain. It operates 240 stores in 31 states, including 117 full-line stores and 10 Racks in the Washington metro area.

Read more articles by Luis Velarde.

Luis Velarde writes about business, investments, real estate, and urban development. His work has appeared in the BBC World Service, Voice of America and others.
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