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
David Greene had retail brokerage on his mind, and he didn’t want a lone wolf.
Mr. Greene, the president of brokerage services at Murray Hill Properties, was assembling a retail team at the firm, which had gone without one for nearly four years.
He was drawn to Christine Emery and Yair Staav, who had formed a partnership at The Lansco Corporation in 1999 and proceeded to build the New York presences of tenants including Uniqlo, Hermès and La Maison du Chocolat. A long courtship followed and has now culminated in Emery-Staav Retail at MHP.
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.”
The owner of the old Lenox Lounge in Harlem has signed a 15-year lease on a new beginning at 333 Lenox Avenue.
The renowned Harlem jazz club, founded in 1939, is set to reopen sometime this summer after owner Alvin Reed was forced to move from the club’s neighborhood staple just two blocks away at 288 Lenox Avenue, due to an insurmountable rent increase.
The original location was host to performances by jazz greats including Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.
This week, as brokers and retailers descend upon Manhattan for the International Council of Shopping Centers’ conference in New York, retail consultants John Harding and Richard Cohan, of the 34th Street Partnership, will be meeting with eight to 10 representatives of brands, restaurants and stores each day to convince them to seek locations in the 34th Street area. Given the retail and brand presence already in place along the retail corridor, they may not have to try very hard.
Mr. Cohan, one of the organization’s retail specialists, lists B&H, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Foot Locker and Zara as brands that have found a home in the area. There are also newcomers—Joe Fresh and Vince Camuto have set up shop between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and Timberland landed in the area last year, as did Uniqlo.
With the long-awaited Barclays Center open and new residential and mixed-use development projects popping up across Downtown Brooklyn, a retail conundrum is growing along the 17-block Fulton Mall.
The national and in some cases high-end retailers moving onto the strip paint a stark contrast to the long list of mom-and-pops, local discounters and jewelry shops that once almost exclusively lined the street.
With more than 50 million tourists running amok each year, consumers feeling recharged, and throngs of foreign retailers streaming in, Manhattan’s prime retail corridors are not only booming—they’re expanding.
High rents and low vacancies in prime corridors are changing the invisible boundary lines that once separated high- and low-end sections of Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Greenwich Village and other retail corridors throughout the city, analysts and real estate brokers claim.
“When these big names and huge chains move into these areas, people just love to follow them,” said Jeffrey Roseman, an executive vice president and principal with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s retail division. “They become anchors and magnets to pull others.”
Just as the earlier success of Urban Outfitters and H&M sparked further expansion below 49th Street on Fifth Avenue, and Alfred Dunhill and watchmaker Panerai boosted retail appeal below 57th Street on Madison when they emerged in 2009, aspirational clothing retailers are now doing the same in Greenwich Village.
Six of 11 prime retail corridors in Manhattan enjoyed substantial rent increases during the third quarter, according to a report released yesterday by CBRE Group Inc. Herald Square witnessed the largest quarter-to-quarter increase at 30 percent, with Downtown Manhattan following closely behind at 28 percent. Perennial retail heavyweights Fifth Avenue and Times Square (both up 23 percent) also surged.
Retail specialists are keeping a close eye on the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th Streets. International apparel giant H&M signed for a 57,000-square-foot store–its largest in the world–at 589 Fifth Avenue, in one of the quarter’s biggest transactions. (The Swedish company also leased 42,500 square feet at 4 Times Square.) “Fifth Avenue has been and will continue to be a major draw for tourists,” said Jedd Nero, the executive vice president of CBRE Retail Services.
Fifth Avenue’s drop from the top spot of Cushman & Wakefield’s list of the world’s most valuable shopping destination has more to do with surging rental rates in Hong Kong than it does a loss of value here in New York. That city’s Causeway Bay now holds the distinction of being the most expensive strip Read More
Swedish fashion retailer H&M will be taking the entire 42,510-square-foot Times Square space that was previously the home to the ESPN Zone.
By moving into 4 Times Square, the fashion chain becomes the latest in a line of affordable clothing retailers that are willing to brave high rents for a Times Square storefront, H&M was represented by Bob Gibson of Cushman & Wakefield. Amira Yunis, Gary Trock, and Matthew Krell, all of CBRE, represented the Durst Organization, the owners of 4 Times Square.
With a recently obtained mortgage and other two rumored to come next, Vornado Realty seems close to obtaining over $1 billion in loans on Midtown properties from some of the biggest players on the market.
The German Bank Landesbank Baden-Württemberg has recently provided $98 million of refinancing on 435 Seventh Avenue, at the corner with 34th Street. The 43,000-square-foot building is fully leased to the Swedish retailer H&M. Vornado Realty might now use part of the proceeds of the new loan to retire a $52 million mortgage provided in 2009 by HSBC Holdings.
Executives involved in leasing a prominent Times Square retail space are preparing to release a new wave of marketing materials for the storefront, dampening speculation that the space is spoken for.
About 45,000 square feet of retail has been available at the office tower 4 Times Square since former tenant ESPN Zone vacated in 2010, but recent reports and rumors had it that the fast fashion giant H&M was in advanced talks to take the whole space for a flagship store.
H&M has designs on 589 Fifth Avenue. In what was a pretty closely-guarded secret, the retailer said last week that it has signed a 57,000-square-foot lease at the building, for what will be its flagship store. It will occupy six floors in the building—the ground through fifth floors, in addition to space below grade level.
BY DANIEL GEIGER
Virginia Pittarelli, better known in the brokerage industry as Ginny, left Madison Retail Services last year to join the retail real estate investment firm Crown Equities, where she leads a new brokerage offshoot of the company called Crown Retail. Now, about a year later, Ms. Pittarelli sits down with The Commercial Observer to discuss how the new venture has panned out and a resurgent retail market that has kept successful deal-makers like her very busy.
RECon: Las Vegas
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.