It must be great to be a broker from New York—from the way you describe it, Manhattan is the market where every tenant wants to be.
Think of all the markets that aren’t doing well. There are empty shopping centers in Detroit. For the most part, urban cities like L.A., Chicago and D.C., they’re doing well. But NYC is the top. It’s not bias, it’s just factual. There are stores here doing upwards of $2,000 a foot in sales and as high as $4,000 to $5,000 a foot. If you have a $2,000-foot store, you’re $4 million. The national average, if you go online and see it, is under $400 a foot typically.
Are you working with tenants right now or agency assignments primarily?
I’m really doing both. I’m doing a lot of landlord work. We represent a lot of properties, a couple of interesting things in Times Square, 1501 Broadway, for instance. We’re putting a very special restaurant space on the market there, which I will be bringing out to Las Vegas.
What is that space?
1501 is owned by a group called Paramount Holdings. Not Paramount Group; it’s a bunch of partners, they’ve owned it forever. The Hard Rock is there. We have a space on the side of the building that we’re marketing—it’s 18,000 square feet of prime space in the heart of Times Square. Main and Main. It’s probably about $4 million in rent we’re looking for. The space is on 43rd Street as opposed to Broadway. The rent would be $14 million if it was on Broadway.
Just a few steps away and a $10 million difference in rent?
In Times Square it’s gold anywhere you go, but Avenues are for the retailers and side streets tend to be for restaurants or entertainment who can’t quite afford the avenues. I think it’s $350 a foot on the ground and $150 on the second floor. We just brought it to market. ICSC is the perfect place to show it. We have another space on Madison and 41st we’re coming to market with, 292 Madison Avenue. It’s a repositioning of an office building that the owners are just recladding and the retail will be the beacon of the building. They really want to change the look of the building and you do that best with a retailer. It’s about 15,000 square feet on two levels. We have some serious interest.
You just did a deal nearby, with the retailer Orvis, on Fifth Avenue, right?
It’s now officially done. They’re going to anchor a space on the south side of 42nd on Fifth. There’s always been a cadre of souvenir shops and subway sandwichs there, but Orvis definitely will help the change the image. Fifth used to drop off at Saks, retailers didn’t want to go below that, but now you look and it’s a who’s who. You have Guess and Urban Outfitters. We had known Orvis’s lease was up in a few years and were able to impress upon them that a few years was tomorrow. They were astute enough to start now—getting a deal done is not for the faint of heart, it takes six to 12 months to get something done and many times retailers wait until the last minute and then they’re in a dilemma. That’s what separates retailers that are on point as opposed to the ones that tend to vanish. The guys that are out in the market, that understand it and are constantly upgrading stores and figuring out ways to become more relevant are the ones that stick around. It’s not an accident.
At 3 Columbus Circle, you’re rumored to be doing a big deal with Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Honestly I can’t comment other than to say that the building is spectacular and I hope to be able to talk about something soon. I am going to plead the Fifth.
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