Englewood Construction, a commercial construction firm, said Thursday that its retail group completed the build-out of the new 40,000-square-foot American Girl Place store at 75 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
American Girl moved to the new store in November from its previous Manhattan location at 609 Fifth Ave.
"It's been nearly a decade since we completed our first project with American Girl -- which happened to be the relocation of its original Chicago flagship store to its current Michigan Avenue address -- and in the years since we've built a great relationship with the brand that has spanned multiple new locations across the country, as well as full-store remodels, renovation projects and even facility maintenance work," said William Di Santo, president of Lemont-based Englewood.
The new 75 Rockefeller Plaza store, the 12th location Englewood has built out for American Girl, was designed by Cincinnati-based architecture firm FRCH Design Worldwide. It spans two floors, including a street-level storefront at 75 Rockefeller Plaza -- a 1940s-era building with an Indiana limestone facade that is protected by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
"Englewood has managed a number of projects in landmark buildings over the years, and with that experience we know to always plan for special construction considerations even if our work does not directly involve protected features," said Di Santo. "In the case of 75 Rockefeller Plaza, the landmark construction criteria included matching the new store's flooring elevations to the original landmark conditions in the lobby, and also tying into the existing storefront glazing system to preserve the look of the protected facade."
Adding to the complexity of the American Girl project was the new store's location in one of the busiest areas of New York City. "We're well-versed working in urban areas thanks to our extensive portfolio of work along Chicago's Magnificent Mile as well as in Manhattan," Di Santo said. "It's important for the contractor on a project like this to know how such a high-profile location impacts everything from delivery of equipment and materials to timing work around factors such as pedestrian foot traffic and the schedules of other tenants in a vertical, multiuse property."
Inside the new store, Englewood worked with American Girl to incorporate popular features from other locations, plus a number of new elements to evolve the unique experiential retail environment for which the brand is known. Prototype elements debuting at the New York location include an interactive Create Your Own Design Studio and an expanded American Girl Salon experience offering services for both dolls and customers. The store also includes familiar favorites such as the American Girl Café, which is enhanced with private dining rooms for birthday parties and special events.
In addition to building out the storefront and in-store elements and installing interior finishes, Englewood also completed infrastructure work such as putting in new black iron to accommodate the cafe's kitchen exhaust system, adding new electrical service, and connecting the store's two levels with new elevators and escalators within the space.