ICSC 2015

Bargain Binge: A New Wave of Discount Department Stores is Hitting the City

NEW YORK - MARCH 01:  A man carries a shopping bag from the Bloomingdale's store in the SoHo shopping district of Manhattan March 1, 2010 in New York City.  Consumer spending numbers tracked slightly higher in January, leading some economists to conclude that the economy is shakily regaining footing.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Since 2010, New Yorkers have been sitting shiva for their most beloved discount retailers; in 2011, Filene’s Basement shut its doors in Union Square and on the Upper West Side. The following year, Daffy’s closed eight of its Manhattan stores after it filed for bankruptcy. And last year, Loehmann’s bid adieu to the loyal following it had amassed since it opened in Brooklyn in 1921.

Even though it appeared that the discount designer store was a vestige of the past, a surprising phenomenon has happened over the past year: these stores are being replaced. And upgraded, by their high-end competitors. Read More

Lease Beat

Bloomie’s Heading to UWS With Outlet [Updated]

Urban outfitters at 2085 Broadway (Photo: CoStar).

Say goodbye to Urban Outfitters on West 72nd Street and hello to Bloomingdale’s.

The department store has signed a 15-year lease for 24,985 square feet spanning three stories at 2085 Broadway and will take possession of the space when Urban Outfitters’ lease expires in July, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer. FedEx Office Print & Ship Center, which occupies 4,500 square feet on the ground floor in a space that once housed HMV‘s classical music section, will remain. The source suspects that price drove Urban Outfitters from the location. Read More

On the Market

Soho Co-op Seeks Retail Tenant

307 West Broadway

A co-op blocks away from Soho’s ritziest stores is offering cheap rents to attract a new retail tenant in its 3,300-square-foot storefront at 307 West BroadwayCommercial Observer has learned.

Broker Lisa Rosenthal of the Lansco Corporation is representing Jacob Cram Cooperative in its effort to flip the ground floor space currently occupied by the Soho Garden deli in the location one block north of the Canal Street subway station, four blocks west of Broadway retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Prada and Banana Republic and four blocks south of Apple, Louis Vuitton and Barneys New York. Read More

Sales Beat

The Fine Arts Building in Midtown East Sells for $34 M.

The Fine Arts Building

Members of the Battaglia family have sold The Fine Arts Building located at 232-236 East 59th Street for $34 million, the first sale of the building since the local investors purchased the building in the 1950’s, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The six-and-half-story building, located on the south side of 59th Street and between Second and Third avenues in Midtown East, features 75 feet of frontage along East 59th Street. Read More


Nordstrom and Extell Development: Patience is a Virtue

Derek Trulson

It turns out that patience is virtue for both Nordstrom and Extell Development. When the retailer announced Thursday that it would be opening a 285,000-square-foot, 7-story store at 225 West 57th Street some time in 2018, it represented the culmination of ten to 15 years of searching. Meanwhile, developer Gary Barnett had been quietly assembling the parcel where the store will open for almost a decade.

In the end, the deal was pulled off thanks to a team from Jones Lang LaSalle, the firm’s Derek Trulson telling The Commercial Observer that real estate expertise, not retail expertise, paved the way. Read More


The White Whale of West 57th Street: Nordstrom appears poised for NYC


It’s the great white whale of Manhattan retail.

Aside from Walmart, Nordstrom is the store every retail broker in the city dreams of harpooning and reeling into a new home. One prominent broker familiar with the store, the amount of space it needs and the rents it would probably be willing to pay estimates that the commission for handling its lease would be around $10 million.

But like a leviathan lurking beneath the waves, the department store has offered only fleeting glimpses around the city, most notably at several development sites and a few existing assets with the capacity to accommodate its sprawling footprint.

The scuttlebutt nowadays: Nordstrom is contemplating one of two leases, one at the West Side rail yards with the Related Companies or another at the base of Extell Development’s soaring new residential tower now rising at 157 West 57th Street. Read More

Lease Beat

Exclusive: Girly Boutique Opening on Lexington

"Fun and Flirty" 794 Lexington Avenue. (Courtesy Property Shark)

Self-proclaimed “girly” boutique Pookie & Sebastian inked a retail deal for more than 2,300 square feet at 794 Lexington Avenue, near 61st Street, a broker told The Commercial Observer yesterday.

Known for its pink awnings and pre-school sounding name, the “fun and flirty,” retailer will pay $17,000 per month in the ten-year deal, said Peter Braus of Sierra Realty, who represented landlord Arthur Weyhe. Asking rent was $20,000 per month. Previous tenant Cohen’s Optical vacated the space early last year. Read More