After 15 years, Toys "R" Us is leaving the bright lights of Times Square for good this week.
The company confirmed Tuesday that it will close its flagship location on Broadway between West 44th and West 45th streets on Dec. 30.
While a new flagship location has not been chosen, Toys "R" Us is "actively searching" for space in midtown, company spokeswoman Jessica Offerjost said.
The Times Square location has been popular with tourists, who take photos beside a giant LEGO Empire State Building and wait in line to ride a 60-foot-tall indoor ferris wheel.
The Commercial Observer reported this past spring that the toy store, long an anchor in New York City’s most popular tourist destination, would not be renewing its lease. A broker for the property told the site that rising rents forced the toy store to look into new options for its flagship location.
“Here’s the long and the short of it. They have 21,000 square feet on the ground floor,” said Brad Mendelson, the broker. “There really is not a tenant that can rent that.”
The broker told the Observer that rent on the ground floor of the 150,000-square-foot building costs $2,500 per square foot. The upper floor and lower level cost less, but the toy store has been paying about half the current going rate since it began renting about 110,000 square feet of the building in 2000.
Mendelson told the Observer the building will likely be broken up into several sections for multiple tenants.
There are still Toys "R" Us locations in New York City, including five in Queens, three in the Bronx, two in Brooklyn and two on Staten Island. There's also a Toys "R" Us at the Manhattan Mall on Sixth Avenue.
The Babies "R" Us store in Union Square will remain open, as will two locations in Brooklyn and Queens.