In the largest retail deal since Sept. 11, home decorating product provider Janovic/Plaza has signed a 10-year lease for 16,500 sq. ft. in Manhattan. The company will open its 10th Manhattan store at 136 Church St., four blocks north of the former World Trade Center site.

"This is a tremendous coup for downtown," says Matthew Gorman of Insignia/ESG’s Retail Group in New York, who represented Janovic/Plaza in the transaction. Gorman says that the company's move to Downtown Manhattan is a positive sign that he expects to resonate with other retailers considering the Downtown market.

Moving to serve Lower Manhattan has always been in the corporate plan, says Charles Siglain, president of Janovic. The firm, planning to occupy the store in March 2002, will use 12,500 sq. ft. for selling space and the remaining 4,000 sq. ft. as basement storage.