NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA store on New York’s Fifth Avenue will close at the end of February, and the league is searching for a new location.

The league has been in the current outlet since September 1998, and the league said it notified the landlord, Kushner Cos., under its original lease that it will move out after the holiday season and the NBA All-Star game.

NBA executive vice president of global merchandising Sal LaRocca said Tuesday that Kushner Cos. was seeking an increase comparable to the one obtained when the Japanese clothing company Uniqlo signed a lease for other space in the building said to be worth $300 million over 15 years.

“The amount of dollars the landlord is requiring from the next tenant, we couldn’t find a way to make it work,” LaRocca said. “The asking price is well over $2,000 a square foot.”

LaRocca said the current store had 35,000 square feet of space, not all of it on the first floor.

“We haven’t secured another spot yet,” he said. “We’re looking into a combination of temporary and permanent space. But those things are still a work in progress.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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