Lease Beat

Zara Headed to FiDi

Rendering of the south view of 222 Broadway, soon-to-be home to Zara

Fashion retail giant Zara signed a 15-year, 30,000-square-foot lease at 222 Broadway, between Ann and Fulton Streets, in the Financial District.

 L&L Holding Company and Beacon Capital Partners are moving the building’s lobby entrance to Fulton Street to make room for Zara, the flagship retail brand of Spanish fashion giant Inditex. The two-story wrap-around store, slated to open late this year or early next year, will have space on the ground, second and lower levels of the building. Read More

Cover Story

Downtown Manhattan, Uptown Chic


Burberry. Salvatore Ferragamo. Ermenegildo Zegna. Michael Kors. Scoop. Hermes. Judith & Charles. Calypso St. Barth.

It’s an impressive list of retailers. What’s more striking is that Brookfield Office Properties cut deals with all of them this year, and they’ll be sharing a home at the revamped Brookfield Place beginning next year, forming an unprecedented shopping destination Downtown. Read More


Sunshine by the Square Foot

Aerial Photographs of New York City - Archive Images

While it did not rival what some recalled as a “blistering” second quarter, the Manhattan commercial real estate office market continued to gain momentum in the third quarter, and most real estate observers took the growth as a sign of more to come.

Positive absorption and rising rents throughout Manhattan are on track to rain in a strong end to the year, as Midtown remained steady, Midtown South shined, and Downtown turned heads.

Read More


Updating a Lower Manhattan Landmark: Restaurant and Apparel Included


Completed in 1923, 195 Broadway served as the headquarters for American Telephone and Telegraph and Western Union, and it currently boasts Thomson Reuters as a major tenant. Acquired by L&L Holdings in 2005, the Financial District property has been repositioned to capitalize on retail opportunities on the ground floor.

Marketed by Cushman & Wakefield, the majestic space will be divided for up to three tenants, including a restaurant, with whom brokers are now in discussions with to open an upscale eatery with access to a 30th floor rooftop deck. Located across from the Fulton Street transit hub, 195 Broadway’s retail space is ideally suited for apparel and jewelry retailers. Alan Schmerzler, executive director at C&W, spoke with The Commercial Observer last week about the building’s unique challenges and potential opportunities. Read More


REBNY Issues Call for Submissions for Retail Deal of the Year Awards


The Real Estate Board of New York has opened the submission process for the Retail Deal of the Year Awards, it was announced yesterday. The awards recognize the most creative and significant retail deals in New York City.

Submissions for the awards are due April 25. Winners will be announced at the REBNY Retail Committee’s Deal of the Year cocktail party on June 11.

“It’s certainly the most prestigious award given in our business,” Peter Braus, retail committee chair at REBNY, told The Commercial Observer. “As retail has gotten to be more of a factor in New York real estate, it has gotten to be quite the market prestige to win the award.” Read More

The Plan

Check Out Proposed Glass-Cube Retail Under 1633 Broadway

CO Page TK - The Plan

Cushman & Wakefield is marketing a sub-level retail space at 1633 Broadway, where a 733-glass cube entryway designed by Moed de Armas & Shannon will serve as a portal to two lower levels made up of 39,588 square feet of stacked concourse space.

The opportunity lies within a 2.5 million-square-foot Class A office tower spanning the entire block-front of Broadway between 50th and 51st Streets, owned by the Paramount Group.

The vacant sub-level space, formerly occupied by the outer-space-themed Mars 2112, has been gutted, and a sparkling glass entry cube, reminiscent of the above-ground glass façade leading to Apple’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue, will provide visibility and signage opportunities for a range of potential uses, said Alan Schmerzler, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield who reviewed the floor plans with The Commercial Observer. Mr. Schmerzler is marketing the space along with Executive Vice President Brad Mendelson, Senior Director Steve Soutendijk and Senior Associate Chris Schwart. Read More

Lease Beat

Bed and Bedding Specialists Charles P. Rogers Moves Across the Street to 26 West 17th Street


Charles P. Rogers, the self-proclaimed “oldest source for beds” in America, is moving across the street to 26 West 17th Street from 55 West 17th Street for its new storefront, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The bed specialists, which opened its first showroom and factory in 1855, will be taking a total of 7,681 square feet on three floors in 26 West 17th Street, which is owned by The Winter Organization. 

Asking rent for the space is $275,000 per year. The lease is for 10 years.

Michael O’Neill and Gene Spiegelman, both of Cushman & Wakefield, represented The Winter Organization in the deal. Michael Gambino, Michael Burgio, and Alan Schmerzler, also of Cushman & Wakefield, represented Charles P. Rogers.

Construction to the new storefront space is slated to begin this summer with an eye towards a fall opening for Charles P. Rogers’ new store.  Read More


All the Twists and Turns Behind Times Square Theater, Last Week’s Most Creative Deal of the Year Winner

Times Square Theater.

Marvel Comics kicked the tires for a proposed flagship store and theme restaurant based on the comic book publisher’s legion of mutant superheroes. Burger King considered changing the 1920s-vintage theater into “The World’s Largest Burger King.” Even the professional grapplers from the World Wrestling Federation envisioned the domed auditorium as a studio-slash-retail-slash-performance space, where wrestlers would fight as diners ate their suppers. Alas, like the other contenders, the WWF walked away.

And so it went for the brokers and potential tenants seeking to fill the old Times Square Theater, a space so pockmarked with hidden challenges, prohibitive rent requirements and aging infrastructure, that the quest to find a suitable tenant lurched on for an entire decade, from shortly after George W. Bush’s election as president to the second half of Barack Obama’s first term in office.

Considering the false starts and dashed hopes C. Bradley Mendelson and Alan Schmerzler faced while negotiating their drama-filled deal last year for 217 West 42nd Street, an award ceremony on par with the Tony’s wouldn’t have been out of the question.

“We ran into a recession, we ran into 9/11, there was a lot of stuff going on,” said Mr. Mendelson upon winning the Real Estate Board of New York’s coveted Most Creative Deal of the Year award last week at the 14th Annual Retail Awards at the 101 Club. “We actually should have gotten an award for keeping the agency for as long we did.” Read More

RECon: Las Vegas

In Times Square, Nevermind the Knick-Knacks, Here’s the National Retail Brand

Times Square.

When he first took the job of president of the Times Square Alliance in 2002, Tim Tompkins had heard a persistent complaint from those who worked and lived in the neighborhood: The retail options stunk, composed mainly of the remnants of tourist-only shops that sold New York-branded T-shirts and similarly hokey knick-knacks. In short, the retail scene in the The Crossroads of the World was slow to catch up with the rapidly shifting residential and office demographics of the Times Square and Hells Kitchen neighborhoods.

“If you think about it, 15 years ago you didn’t have Ernst & Young, didn’t have Reuters, didn’t have Condé Nast; the Viacom building was filled with government agencies, and you didn’t have the 11 Times Square building across from the Port Authority,” Mr. Tompkins said. Then those businesses arrived, and suddenly the need for an “I (heart) New York” T-shirt was quickly being replaced with a need for everyday goods, like cosmetics and regular apparel.

“Part of what we did is we realized there was this enormous untapped spending potential for all the people who are working in these buildings,” Mr. Tompkins said. Read More

UPDATE: Nordstrom Rack Eyeing 1095 Sixth Avenue

1095 Avenue of the Americas (photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield)

Nordstrom Rack is reportedly in talks to snap up the 36,000 square foot Bryant Park retail space that is currently housing an NFL pop-up store.

The retail space at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, an office tower owned by the Blackstone Group, has been used as a pop-up store by Dylan’s Candy Bar and now the NFL, which is occupying the space in part to countdown its upcoming NFL Draft.  Read More


NFL Commits to Month-long Bryant Park Pop-Up Space

1095 Avenue of the Americas (photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield)

The National Football League has tackled a 36,000 square foot pop-up store at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in time for its upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.

The space will be part “experience” and part retail, according to those close to the deal. From April 2 to April 30th, football fans will be able to purchase merchandise from NFL licensees like Nike, New Era, Under Armour, Wilson, and others.  Read More