Crew workers enter the site of the former Woolworth building at 311 Wall Street, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. (Patricia Doxcy/Daily Freeman)
KINGSTON, N.Y. — The long-vacant former location of Woolworth’s at 311 Wall Street in Uptown will be home to GIRLBOY, a luxury women’s apparel retailer that plans to open its doors sometime this fall, the retailer and property owner announced.
“I’m thrilled to bring GIRLBOY, a brand built on women’s empowerment and centered around sustainability, to the vibrant Kingston neighborhood after being in New York City for over a decade,” said Morgan Hoffman, founder of GIRLBOY, in a prepared statement. “Our first concept store here will provide a dynamic Design Room-inspired space that allows us to continue to incorporate our brand philosophy of uplifting women in business into our work.”
GIRLBOY sells high-end clothing ranging in price from a $47.50 tank top to a $995 leather jacket, according to its website.
Renovation plans submitted to the city in January by New York City developer Neil Bender under the applicant name 311 Wall Street LLC call for the 17,704-square-foot building to be used by 2,553 square feet for two retail tenants in the area facing Wall Street. The rest will be vacant, eventually hosting small events.
The plans received approval from the Planning Board in January and from the Historic Preservation Commission in March.
“We are proud to welcome GIRLBOY, a women-owned brand whose ethos is grounded in sustainability, to one of our new storefronts at 311 Wall Street,” said real estate project manager Julio C. Hernandez of William Gottlieb Real Estate. statement. “GIRLBOY embodies the spirit of community and pioneering innovation that William Gottlieb always championed, generally uplifting our neighbors by transforming Wall Street into a unique and vibrant retail destination.”
The LLC at 311 Wall Street is one of the companies named in several lawsuits filed by Pender’s legal representatives, some of whom name the city as a defendant, in an attempt to stop the planned mixed-use development, Kingstonian, from coming to fruition. The building also previously angered the city and nearby business owners after a picture of five women pointing with six middle fingers was plastered on the building’s windows.
Woolworth’s operated a store in the building from 1956 to 1994. Among its string of occupants were party supply store Sav-On and record management company Medrex. After several ownership changes, an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful plan emerged for the building to become the Kingston Food Exchange. This project never came to fruition. Bender paid $2.25 million for the building in February 2018.
In late August, William Gottlieb Real Estate announced that another of its buildings, at 44 North Front St., in the space previously occupied by Artie’s Bar and Grill, would open an Everywhere Store, operated by Ash + Chess, an office supplies brand Created by lesbian and trans couple Ashley Moleso and Chess Needham.