On the Market
Faced with declining sales, the once-trendy teen fashion retailer Hollister is marketing its Soho flagship for sublease.
The surf-themed Abercrombie & Fitch subsidiary signed a 20-year, 42,000-square-foot lease at 600 Broadway in 2007. It attracted gawking passersby with young male door greeters clad in little more than lifeguard trunks and zinc oxide sunscreen. They did not save the store from a massive bedbug infestation in the summer of 2010.
Burberry. Salvatore Ferragamo. Ermenegildo Zegna. Michael Kors. Scoop. Hermes. Judith & Charles. Calypso St. Barth.
It’s an impressive list of retailers. What’s more striking is that Brookfield Office Properties cut deals with all of them this year, and they’ll be sharing a home at the revamped Brookfield Place beginning next year, forming an unprecedented shopping destination Downtown.
With the net-lease at 35 Union Square West expiring, the building’s ownership recognized an opportunity to capitalize on the increasing popularity of the Union Square area and increase rents. The development spells doom for the original location of Heartland Brewery, which will vacate its space by year’s end. The 10,200-square-foot space is being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield to a variety of potential tenants, including restaurants and retailers, and, with limited availability, the prime address is sure to get its fair share of interest.
Spread across a 4,000-square-foot ground floor, 2,200-square-foot mezzanine and 4,000-square-foot basement, the space offers a number of different layout possibilities for potential tenants.
Joanne Podell and Brandon Singer of Cushman & Wakefield spoke to The Commercial Observer last week about the space and why it’s such a unique opportunity. “There is very limited availability in Union Square, which speaks to the health of the market,” Ms. Podell noted.
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.
The former J.P. Morgan headquarters at 23 Wall Street continues to be a hard sell. For nearly seven years, the property, which has been marketed to retailers and restaurants, has remained vacant.
Complicated by its location—across from the New York Stock Exchange—and its poor loading facilities, the property, along with the connected 35 Wall Street and 15 Broad Street, has drawn interest but no commitments. Originally marketing the property specifically toward retail, the Cushman & Wakefield brokerage team has begun to open up to the possibility of entertainment or financial services firms.
Joanne Podell, vice chairman, and Ian Lerner, senior associate, spoke with The Commercial Observer about the unique challenges and possibilities the properties present.
Lower Manhattan 2013
AT&T Wireless has signed a 10-year lease for 3,797 square feet on the ground floor of W&H Properties’ 250 West 57th Street. The space has been earmarked for the wireless telecommunications company’s “World Store.” Starting rent for the lease is $350 per square foot.
“There aren’t very many boxes like this, it’s a terrific configuration for [AT&T Wireless],” Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings LLC, which supervises W&H Properties, told The Commercial Observer.
A onetime citadel of finance is proving to be a complicated sell.
The former J.P. Morgan headquarters at 23 Wall Street has been without a tenant for about seven years. And ambitious plans to woo a large retailer are being reconsidered.
Built in 1914, 23 Wall Street—also known as The Corner—has had a dramatic and occasionally fraught history. It was bombed in 1920, possibly by an Italian anarchist. The blast killed 38 people. The New York Stock Exchange is across the street, but despite the foot traffic its location generates, the property’s fortified address is a major reason why retailers—and large department stores in particular—have been reluctant to move in.
The Lobby, Retail
The ING New York City Marathon-that-wasn’t had something of an ironic impact on the city’s luckier retailers.
There’s no question that those hit heavily by the storm have a long road ahead, especially Downtown, where many stores closed for days and others remain closed and damaged.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally called the storied marathon off on Saturday, but not before many of the 47,000 registered marathon runners were already in the city for the race planned for Sunday.
Matthew Seigel has joined Thor High Street Advisors, the retail leasing arm of landlord Joe Sitt’s real estate company Thor Equities.
Mr. Seigel will move to the firm from Cushman & Wakefield, where he had been a junior partner of Joanne Podell, one of C&W’s retail leasing aces.
Eyeglass maker Warby Parker has signed a lease for its first permanent retail location, taking about 2,500 square feet at 121 Greene Street in Soho.
Warby Parker rose to prominence successfully selling prescription eyeglasses online, a product many shoppers had preferred to buy in person even well into the age of Internet commerce.
The annual ICSC retail conference has kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center, drawing more than 30,000 real estate professionals, including some of the country’s largest retailers, developers and real estate services companies. The event is widely considered the industry’s Super Bowl of networking and dealmaking. Though the conference started officially on Sunday, by Monday morning the convention center’s sprawling floors—which make the Javits Center seem pint-size—comes alive in earnest with crowds of retail professionals. Here are a few observations from the opening hours of the conference. —Daniel Geiger
8:30 – The Commercial Observer steps out into the cab line at The Palms to head to the convention center. In the queue are several other ICSC-goers. A man quickly steps from the pack and offers to split a cab. He’s in his 30s, from New Orleans, and says he runs his own brokerage company. He looks incredibly bleary-eyed and wears dark sunglasses. “I was out till 4 a.m. last night at XS,” he explains, purporting XS (pronounced excess) to be the best club in Vegas. The cab driver chimes in that pool parties have become a popular destination for fun-seekers. “They’re top-tional,” he says. The broker takes note. Where are the best parties? he asks. “The Cosmo,” the cabby replies. He has taken several fares to the conference so far: “It seems like a busy year,” he says.