Lease Beat

Hale & Hearty Takes Space in MetroTech Center

2 MetroTech Center

Hale & Hearty Soups will be opening at 2 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn this fall after signing a 10-year lease for 1,760 square feet, MetroTech Center developer Forest City Ratner Companies announced.

New York-based Hale & Hearty, which has 30 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island, sells sandwiches made with artisanal breads, salads and 15 to 20 different soups per day. All soups are made from scratch in Hale & Hearty’s Brooklyn kitchens. Read More

Selling a Stake

Madison International Acquires 49 Percent Stake in WV Retail Condo

510 Avenue of the Americas

Real estate private equity firm Madison International Realty has nabbed a nearly 49 percent stake in a West Village retail condominium from Ark Partners.

Madison International acquired the 48.95 percent non-controlling interest in a 55,565-square-foot retail condominium at 510 Avenue of the Americas, brokerage Prince Realty Advisors announced. David E. Ash, principal and founder of Prince Realty, negotiated the deal for both sides. The sale price, at the mixed-use building between 13th and 14th Streets, was just under $68 million. Read More

Vacant Village

Series of High-Profile Retail Closures in Village Points To Momentarily Stark Reality

Shuttered location of Pet Central  at 237 Bleecker Street (credit: Lauren Elkies Schram)

In the world of real estate, as in life, perception is in the eye of the beholder.

The retail market in the West Village and Greenwich Village is no exception, as neighborhood staples close due to rising rents, leaving spaces vacant and landlords searching for high-rent-paying tenants. While neighbors may find the shuttered shops to be eyesores and longtime retail tenants may find the skyrocketing rents unfair, many brokers leasing those spaces are saying it’s due to a hot market and the changing nature of the neighborhood. Read More

Coming Up Roseman

Jeffrey Roseman (Photo: Mike Nagle)

On an otherwise ordinary winter day last month, a group of Barneys New York executives met across the street from 101 Seventh Avenue along with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeffrey Roseman to reflect on something that was in fact rather remarkable.    

Barneys would officially come back to the landmark Chelsea address it had Read More


Slow Going for Quick Service

Through the highs and lows of an unsure economy, restaurant users, particularly quick-service concepts (QSRs), have historically been the prevailing force behind an active retail market. While the stream of calls from QSRs shows the tenant side is keeping up its end of this grand bargain, market conditions have been standing in the way.

The Read More

Food & Drink

Winick Team Wins Exclusive Chipotle Assignment


Winick Realty Group Executive Vice President Kenneth Hochhauser, Senior Vice President Daniel Spector and Senior Managing Director Diana D. Boutross have been tapped as the exclusive leasing agents for Chipotle Mexican Grill, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The Winick team will aid Chipotle as it continues to expand throughout the five boroughs, Long Island and northern New Jersey. The “fast-casual” chain opened in Colorado in 1993 and now counts over 1,400 locations in the United States, Canada, England and France. There are nearly 50 New York City stores today, 10 years after the company began its local efforts. Read More

Sales Beat

Capstone Equities Pays $14.25 M for Retail Development and Potential Air Rights Play


Capstone Equities has scooped up a prominent retail corner location at 1-9 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, with plans to reposition the retail and potentially use the air rights on the current structure to tack on a residential component, sources tell The Commercial Observer.

City records confirm that the firm paid $14.25 million for the two-story property, and a source familiar with the company said the plan is to draw in a stable retailer then assess the options to use the 50,000 square feet of air rights to build residential units – and possibly dormitories. Read More

Lease Beat

7-Eleven Takes 2,500 Square Feet at 111 Fulton Street


Convenience store chain 7-eleven has signed a long-term lease for roughly 2,500 square feet of retail space at 111 Fulton Street in the Financial District, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Ross Kaplan of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the landlord, while Ariel Schuster and Greg Covey at RKF represented the tenant.

“There’s a flurry of activity going on Downtown,” Mr. Kaplan said, who has represented the landlord for the last year.  “Tourism and a dense commercial and residential population is a big draw for retailers in this part of town, especially quick-service shops.” Read More

Lease Beat

Au Bon Pain Takes 2,600 Square Feet at 111 Fulton Street

111 Fulton Street (Credit: Emporis)

Au Bon Pain has signed a long-term lease for roughly 2,600 square feet of retail space at 111 Fulton Street in the Financial District, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Ross Kaplan of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the landlord, while Jacqueline Klinger of The Shopping Center Group represented the tenant.

“There’s a perfect storm going on Downtown,” said Mr. Kaplan, who has represented the landlord over the course of the last year.  “The dense commercial and residential population, as well as the tourism in the area, is a great draw for retailers.”

Read More

Lease Beat

Winick Realty Group Selected to Lease One New York Plaza Retail Concourse

One New York Plaza

Winick Realty Group has been selected by Brookfield Office Properties to exclusively market 40,000 square feet of vacant sub-level retail space at One New York Plaza.

The space, damaged during Hurricane Sandy and slated to be rebuilt and repositioned, makes up the concourse level of the 2.6-million-square-foot Class A tower, with entryways on Whitehall, Broad and Water Streets. Read More

Power Broker

A Metric Mind: With Data Analysis the Norm, Winick Realty Looks to Kenneth Hochhauser for the “Secret Sauce”

Kenneth Hochhauser.

Years before Chipotle Mexican Grill became a calorie-packed part of Midtown’s daily diet, the burrito maker was mapping a path into the New York City marketplace.

In 2002, after launching in Washington D.C. and other suburban markets, Chipotle turned to Kenneth Hochhauser and Jeffrey Roseman, who subsequently turned to internal data accumulated by the former Newmark Knight Frank to determine an ideal location for Chipotle’s flagship store in New York City.

“They understood their business model, in that the bulk of their business came during lunch, so we focused on where the heaviest lunch concentration would have been,” recalled Mr. Hochhauser.

Now an executive vice president with the Winick Realty Group, Mr. Hochhauser, 45, recalled his days at Newmark Knight Frank pairing data with Chipotle’s own statistical analysis to determine where best to expand the brand. And considering his knowledge of Geographic Information Systems—a complicated theory used to better understand patterns and trends—Mr. Hochhauser found what he was looking for. Read More

The Sit-Down

Eric Gelber, CBRE’s Retail Running Man, on Racing and Leasing Endurance

Eric Gelber.

Brokerage can feel like a marathon at times—not only is it necessary to draw on stamina and patience, but being prepared doesn’t hurt either. So if all goes according to plan, Eric Gelber should be drawing on equal quantities of all of these by the time this issue of The Commercial Observer is circulating the halls of CBRE, where he’s a senior vice president in the Retail Services Group. Mr. Gelber is slated to run 135 miles in the Badwater Ultramarathon—starting in Death Valley and going up into the foothills of Mount Whitney, Calif., the following day. While the temperature in New York this Tuesday looks like it will be in the low 70s, Mr. Gelber will be facing heat that could top out at 130 degrees. He’ll be running to raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, in memory of a family friend who died from the disease. The Commercial Observer caught up with Mr. Gelber—who was nursing a sore ankle, no less—the day before he left to fly out West, to talk about his work at CBRE and the grueling race ahead. Read More