If one hot-button retail issue has dominated the New York real estate landscape in recent years, it’s been Walmart. The giant discount retailer has been trying to find a suitable location in the city for nearly a decade, but resistance has been fierce. The reasons for this resistance range from the big-box store’s labor practices to the perceived threat to local retailers.
The conflict came to a climax last year when Christine Quinn, democratic candidate for mayor, snarled, “As long as Walmart’s behavior remains the same, they’re not welcome in New York City.” Last week, The Commercial Observer spoke with some of New York’s leading retail brokers about the role of politics in retail real estate, what Walmart can do to ingratiate itself and which locations, if any, are suited to its footprint.
It’s been mostly quiet on the Walmart front since plans for a Brooklyn behemoth collapsed last fall, but prominent New York brokers insist that the world’s largest retailer is in active negotiations for a spot in the five boroughs.
In 2009 and 2010 “you could have rolled a bowling ball down the aisle” at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon conference “and it wouldn’t have hit anybody,” Massey Knakal executive vice president of retail leasing Benjamin Fox told The Commercial Observer.
But when an estimated 33,000 real estate professionals converged upon one million Read More
On Sunday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber made the fans squeal and the paparazzi snap. But just off the strip, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the real action got underway with the start of RECon. Below, The Commercial Observer’s
reconnaissance work at The Global Real Estate Convention, where 35,000 registered attendees are helping to shape the future of retail real estate.
Members of Douglas Elliman’s retail group have secured a new 1,750-square-foot location and 10-year lease for Sunshine Day Care at 1325 Fifth Avenue, between 111th and 112th Streets in Harlem, The Commercial Observer has learned.
It is an expansion of their program, which opened three years ago directly across the street at 1330 Fifth Avenue, where the group occupies an additional 5,000 square feet. In addition, a three-year extension of that lease has been arranged.
“The expansion of this well-respected day care provider speaks volumes about the demand for quality neighborhood services,” said Faith Hope Consolo, who represented the tenant and the landlord, Tahl Propp Equities, with Joseph Aquino and Arthur Maglio. “Having introduced them to Harlem a few years ago, we are thrilled to see the tremendous amount of success they are having at this location.”
Just a few years ago, the NoMad district was more like a no-man’s land, made up of a less-than-pretty arrangement of gritty wholesalers, hair salons and counterfeiters.
Some of that persists, but the before-and-after contrast with the new wave of retailers and clientele in the neighborhood couldn’t be starker, as its boundaries with the similarly much-improved Flatiron District begin to blur.
“They’re starting to blend into each other,” said Michael Azarian, director of retail leasing at Massey Knakal. “The neighborhood has seen a flood of new boutique office tenants, [and] new residential and hotel developments that have been catalysts for change.”
Manhattan Business Interiors, Inc. is taking a greater stake in the Garment District.
The general contracting and construction management group has expanded at 48 West 37th Street in an effort that has helped fill approximately 25 percent of existing space at the 57,750-square-foot building.
“[The] space became vacant and I knew Manhattan Business Interiors wanted Read More
National retailers are pushing north from 72nd Street on the Upper East Side, chasing changing demographics and searching for value, according to several brokers active in the market. Both 86th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues and Madison Avenue north of 72nd Street have seen strong activity and booming lease prices.
“I did deals up there 10 or 15 years ago and was hard-pressed to push $110 to $120 per square foot,” said Patrick Breslin, executive vice president of global retail at Studley. “Today, if you can find good real estate on Lex on 82nd to 85th, you’re looking at $400, $500, $600 per square foot.”
Miami native Rick Rosa stuffed a few bags with his belongings in 1999 and headed for New York City.
Though not the postcard image he envisioned, he stumbled upon the industrial waterfront neighborhood of Long Island City, where he found an affordable pad, close to Manhattan, with a yard for his dog, Benny.
“The neighborhood Read More
The progressive children’s medical facility Tribeca Pediatrics has signed a 10-year, 2,500-square-foot lease at 2111 Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem.
It will be the organization’s 10th New York City facility. Tribeca Pediatrics also has a location in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Douglas Elliman retail group Chairman Faith Hope Consolo and Executive Vice President Joseph Aquino, along with Arthur Maglio, represented the tenant and landlord, Tahl-Propp Equities. Asking rents were $80 per square foot, “a very nice number for Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 114th Street,” Ms. Consolo said.
Real estate investment firm Newcastle Realty Services purchased neighboring apartment buildings at 656 and 759 St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem for a combined $5.6 million from Colorado-based real estate firm Aimco late last year, city records posted yesterday show.
Sellers sought to unload properties before looming capital gains tax hikes as December wound down, a main reason why the fourth quarter was the strongest investment sales quarter in two and a half decades.
The firm paid $4.4 million for the six-story, 20,640-square-foot property at 656 St. Nicholas Avenue, which features 30 residential units; and $1.2 million for the building at 759 — a 5,666-square-foot, four-story building with nine units.
Some commercial real estate brokers are “kicking and screaming” about the audacity of some city landlords who they claim are disregarding their “exclusives” with retailers by attempting to land tenants on their own.
The idea of “skipping the middle man,” once thought of as a tool for efficiency, is enraging some brokers, who tell The Commercial Observer that large retail owners including Joe Sitt, Jeff Sutton and Joe Moinian, are steering out of their way – but digging deep under their skin.
“Totally not kosher,” one perturbed president of a top city brokerage wrote in an email to The Commercial Observer. “It puts the retail brokers in a difficult spot and it is morally incorrect.”
Douglas Elliman Retail Group Chairman Faith Hope Consolo and Executive Vice President Joseph Aquino are marketing the adjacent retail spaces at 102 and 104 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District.
The 4,000-square-foot 102 Fifth Avenue will soon be vacated by Mesa Grill, celebrity chef Bobby Flay‘s 22-year-old Southwestern restaurant, whose possible closure Zagat first reported nine months ago. The 150-seat restaurant was due to shutter today, but the landlord gave it a 90- to 120-day extension.
The women’s clothing and accessories chain Arden B. already closed at the 2,200-square-foot 104 Fifth Avenue. Combined, the stores have 60 feet of frontage.
“Right now we’ve got a half-dozen offers and we haven’t said yes to anybody,” Mr. Aquino said. “A couple of restaurants want to take Mesa Grill, another two want to take all of both spaces for retail and another two are interested in the former Arden B.”
Michael Kors will be opening a new flagship store in Soho.
The purveyor of womenswear, currently operating out of 101 Prince Street in Soho, will grab 15,000 square feet at 520 Broadway for its new flagship. Coincidentally, the deal comes in light of the recent surge in popularity of their wristwatches and handbags.
It looks like luxury home builder Toll Brothers may have yet another New York City residential development project on the drawing board after scooping up a financially troubled and stalled development site – once dubbed the Oliver – from Alexico Group for $64 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
Owner of the high-end boutique condominium building The Touraine in Lenox Hill, Toll Brothers purchased 953, 957, 959 and 961 First Avenue (or 953-961 First Avenue) in Midtown East after years of financial turmoil bogged down and eventually killed Alexico Group’s original plans to build a 161-unit luxury rental building at the site.