Lease Beat

CVS Takes 14,274SF Retail Condo at Griffin Court, Recently Sold to Heskel Group for $11.3M

CVS Pharmacy has leased a 14,274-square-foot retail condominium space below Alchemy PropertiesGriffin Court Condominium development at 454 West 54th Street, which was also sold to Heskel Group earlier this month, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The 25-year lease includes 9,000 square feet of street level frontage, set below the eight–story residential towers, where 95 condo units that hit the market in 2010 are roughly 85 percent occupied.

The property is located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, a first for CVS, and in close proximity to the theatre district.

cvspharmacy CVS Takes 14,274SF Retail Condo at Griffin Court, Recently Sold to Heskel Group for $11.3M“We chose this location because they are firm believers in the development occurring on the west side,” said Ross Kaplan of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented CVS along with Jason Pruger and Trever Gallina.  “The space has an expansive storefront and it’s a clean new development on a corner location.  These are all things CVS looks for in their locations.”

Forest Hills, Queens-based Heskel Group purchased the retail condominium earlier this month for $11.3 million.  CEO Yeheskel Elias said his firm plans to keep CVS on as a tenant.

“This is a longterm investment for me — its better than a federal bond,” Mr. Elias said.  “I think that five years down the road we will say, ‘wow, that was a great choice.’”

CVS, which has more than 7,400 stores throughout the country, is expected to open in the second quarter of 2013.

“We are looking forward to being a part of and serving the growing neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen,” said CVS Director of NY Metro Real Estate Dave Berman in a prepared statement.

Robert Gibson of Cushman and Wakefield represented a joint venture between Alchemy Properties and Jamestown Properties in the deal, but could not be reached for comment.

“This will provide a wonderful convenience for our condominium owners and a terrific amenity for the surrounding neighborhood,” said Alchemy Properties partner Joel Breitkopf, in a prepared statement.

Another retail space totaling 10,799 square feet – with just over 3,000 square feet on the ground floor and a 7,789-square-foot cellar – remains available for lease at Griffin Court, with ground space asking rents of $60 per square foot and the lower level at $30 per square foot.

Though the pricing on the CVS deal was not immediately known, asking rents were as high as $95 per square foot.

Legal representation was provided by Jeffrey Schwartz of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP to Alchemy Properties and by Stephen Friedberg of Mintz Levin to CVS Pharmacy.

Alchemy Properties is a privately held real estate firm with over 80 years of experience in the New York City Tri-State area, having developed 30 properties in the New York Metropolitan area totaling more than two million square feet.

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