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Trendy Bargain Clothing Store Brandy Melville Opening on Upper West Side

By Emily Frost | March 29, 2013 8:26am

UPPER WEST SIDE — Bargain women's clothing shop Brandy Melville is coming to the Upper West Side. 

The international retailer, which has one other location in the city, is opening in a vacant space on Broadway between West 104th and West 105th streets, which formerly housed bakery chain Hot & Crusty.

The space, which is owned by the city's Economic Development Corporation, has been vacant since July.

Representatives from the EDC, whose goal is to drive economic growth in the city, said they received four offers for the space — from a liquor store, a hot dog joint, a pizzeria and Brandy Melville.

The EDC said a restaurant wouldn't work because of ventilation issues, which helped narrow down the choices.

"There aren't a lot of clothing stores [in the area]," said EDC staffer Caroline Stephenson, who described the store as geared toward "18-to-25-year-old [women]" and "extremely affordable."  

"It's very trendy," she said.

The Italian-based chain has more than a dozen locations, including San Francisco, Hawaii, Paris, London, Barcelona and Munich. The only other New York City location is in SoHo.

The store will employ 10 people full-time and 15 people part-time, said Ashley Dennis, assistant vice president of government and community relations for the EDC.

The 950-square-foot space is being leased for $175 per square foot, which is $20 above the city auditor's assessment of market value for the space, Dennis added.

Community Board 7 members raised some concerns in a meeting Wednesday night about the viability of a clothing store in the space.

The board's health and human services committee, however, voted in favor of Brandy Melville, saying it was better than a liquor store.

"It sounds like for what was possible, it's as appropriate as anything else," said board member Madge Rosenberg.

The full board is expected to vote on the clothing store on April 3.

Representatives from Brandy Melville did not respond to a request for comment.

If approved, the 10-year lease will start at the beginning of July, the EDC said.