Lease Beat

Forever 21 Signs for Space in Mall at Bay Plaza

Mall at Bay Plaza

Discount fashion retailer Forever 21 has signed a lease for a 15,000-square-foot space for the upcoming Mall at Bay Plaza in the North Bronx, the shopping center’s developer, Prestige Properties, announced Thursday.

The Los Angeles-based chain will move in alongside stores like Victoria Secret, H&M and anchor department stores Macy’s and JC Penney in the 780,000-square-foot retail development slated to open Aug. 14. Read More


For Retailers, a Kings County Presence Can Now Trump a Manhattan Debut

Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

National and international retailers until recently may have been commitment-phobes when it came to opening stores in Brooklyn, but that fear has been nearly quelled as mainstream chains like Whole Foods, J.Crew and H&M establish presences in the borough. And now that the big boys of retail are joining creative entrepreneurs, international and national brands have grown increasingly comfortable bypassing Manhattan and breaking into the New York City market via Brooklyn, especially Williamsburg.

Take the London-based record store Rough Trade, which since November has sold albums, served food and drinks and hosted concerts and exhibitions to crowds at Rough Trade NYC, at 64 North Ninth Street in Williamsburg. And then there’s European luxury kitchen goods company Cucina & Tavola, which recently opened its first New York City store at Williamsburg’s 235 Grand Street. In addition, Urban Outfitters’ concept store, Space Ninety 8, debuted in April at 98 North Sixth Street in the same neighborhood. Read More

Lease Beat

H&M Label & Other Stories Signs Soho Retail Lease

575 Broadway. (PropertyShark)

H&M’s sister label, & Other Stories, has signed a 10,915-square-foot lease at 575 Broadway. The Soho address will house the retailer’s first location in the United States and eighth worldwide.

The space carved out for & Other Stories is split between 7,215 square feet on the ground floor and 2,750 square feet on the lower level. The retailer expects to open for business at 575 Broadway later this year. Read More

Cover Story, Feature

Breaking Barriers: Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy on Cassidy Turley’s Star Turn

Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy. (Photo: Mike Nagle)

“If I could knock this wall down I would,” said Peter Hennessy, pointing through a glass enclosure that separates his office from a row of open workstations within the 42nd floor of Cassidy Turley’s 277 Park Avenue offices.

Mr. Hennessy, the tristate president at the firm, will likely get his wish if Cassidy Turley continues to literally and figuratively break down the barriers that once separated its business lines by expanding the consulting practice that he and Richard Bernstein, the firm’s executive vice chairman and principal, said is crucial to the company’s future. Read More

Brooklyn Beat

The 2013 Downtown Brooklyn “Well Done” Awards

First up is the Barclays Center–from the shockingly improved traffic situation at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues to the friendly staff, the Barclays success heralds much more to come for Brooklyn.

Almost all urban arenas are lit up like huge tacky artificial fireplaces–not this place. The gorgeous Cor-Ten type steel is a low-key presence compared to Read More

ICSC 2013

Retail’s Redemption

An interior rendering of the retail space slated for Brookfield Place.

More than a decade ago, with just 30,000 people living south of Chambers Street and the neighborhood largely silent at night and on the weekends, high-end, luxury retail in lower Manhattan was at best a pipedream and at worst a failed enterprise. 

Today, with some $20 billion being spent on new construction between the upper stretches of Battery Park City and Broadway, the residential community has doubled to 60,000 and continues to grow. That affluent community of residents, not to mention increased tourist traffic, has upped the demand for luxury retail.

Burberry, Hermès, Ferragamo, Michael Kors and Zegna are some of the luxury names to have signed on at Brookfield Place, while J. Lindeberg and Tory Burch head the list of names rumored to be in talks for space at Westfield’s World Trade Center retail corridor.

Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Brooklyn as a Borough of Families

Institutional investors, real estate investment trusts, large national development firms—often based in Manhattan—are now quite active in Brooklyn, after years of borough-based families dominating the scene.

Two years ago the Manhattan big boys were ignoring efforts to join the rush—now they all want in.

The last three decades of the Brooklyn’s great leap forward was Read More

The Plan

Retail at 585 Fifth Avenue Hits the Market in Big Way


Having been occupied by smaller-scale retailers for nearly 40 years, space at 585 Fifth Avenue is back on the market with more than 6,000 square feet available across the basement, ground, second and third floors.

A smaller building, 585 Fifth Avenue, presents a unique opportunity for retailers looking for a presence on one of New York’s most prominent shopping corridors. With flexible ownership, potential tenants will have plenty of opportunity to place their own mark on the area, and with Karen Millen and H&M set to appear on the same block, the property will benefit from tremendous foot traffic.

Perfectly suited for apparel, shoe, cosmetic and jewelry retailers, the space at 585 Fifth Avenue is asking $2.25 million per year in rent. “One block north, [rent] doubles, yet you are still pulling in the same customers—this is actually a bargain,” said Joseph Isa of Winick, who is marketing the space. Mr. Isa spoke with The Commercial Observer last week about ownership’s flexibility and the unique opportunities available to tenants.

Read More

Herald Center to Welcome H&M’s Largest Store Next Fall


H&M’s largest store in the world will open in Herald Center next fall after the retailer signed a 25-year lease for 63,000 square feet across four floors of the JEMB Realty property, the landlord’s broker announced today.

“H&M’s newest and greatest commitment to Herald Square is the next level in this retail submarket becoming one of the premier shopping destinations in New York City,” said Susan Kurland, executive vice present of retail services at CBRE, in a prepared statement. “JEMB Realty envisioned a premier retail flagship at Herald Center, creating an unmatched branding opportunity in the heart of Herald Square.” Read More

Everywhere a Sign

H&M Logo to Grace 4 Times Square


H&M is prepping to emblazon its logo atop Durst Organization‘s 4 Times Square, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The ad, to be completed later this year, will accompany the 42,500-square-foot H&M store that will open at the 48-story tower’s base, where it signed a lease for a new store and the rooftop signage in October.

The Read More

Fifth Avenue Retail Asking Rents Pass $3K


Average asking rent for the Fifth Avenue retail corridor has crossed over $3,000 per square foot, the highest in New York City, according to CBRE’s second quarter Manhattan retail report. The increase represents the first time a Manhattan retail corridor has registered average asking rent north of $3,000.

“There was a time when $600 per square foot was considered outrageous on Fifth Avenue,” Richard Hodos, executive vice president of the CBRE Retail Group, told The Commercial Observer. “Putting inflation aside, it speaks to the fact that New York is a world class city.” Read More


Nordstrom Rack to Open in Downtown Brooklyn Next Year


A 41,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack is slated to open at United American Land’s 505 Fulton Street in spring 2014.

“We want to be in the top locations across the country, so this spot at the heart of downtown Brooklyn is big for us,” said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to become back of this exciting community at a historic location, and we intend to make the most of the opportunity to serve customers and give them a reason to shop the Rack.” Read More


REBNY Retail Deal of the Year Awards, Minute By Minute


About 200 retail real estate specialists gathered at 101 Park Avenue’s 101 Club last Tuesday for the Real Estate Board of New York’s 15th annual Retail Deal of the Year Awards cocktail party.

Brokers flocked to a bountiful buffet and an open bar with generous pours. In a lonely corner, an ignored PowerPoint presentation summarized the nominees. Here’s what went down as the assembled waited to hear which of the nine submitted transactions would take home the evening’s two big honors. Read More