Retailers Ring in Holidays While Trotting Out the New

Rockefeller Center

Like visions of sugarplums dancing before a retailer’s eyes, cash-dripping tourists are streaming into the city this holiday season. And these shopkeepers are offering the tourists a few visions of their own.

From the window displays of the big-name department stores to the Union Square Holiday Market and the latest new offerings in Soho, ‘tis the season to be jolly for New York City retailers. Read More


Staten Island Mall Outlines 445K SF Expansion Plans

Staten Island Mall plans

Staten Island Mall officials plan to expand the 41-year-old Heartland Village mainstay by 444,835 square feet to transform it into a 1.67-million-square-foot megamall by 2017, according to documents filed with the city by mall owner General Growth Properties.

A 36-page blueprint that representatives for the Chicago-based operator of 120 malls nationwide will present at the Department of City Planning Thursday outlines an enlargement that would include a 75,000-square-foot addition to the Macy’s department store onsite, a three-story, 1,500-spot garage and a 50,000-square-foot supermarket on space currently occupied by parking lots. Read More

Lease Beat

Beauty Shop Takes Space at Mall at Bay Plaza

Rendering of the entry to Mall at Bay Plaza

National one-stop-shop beauty products store Ulta Beauty signed a lease for 11,400 square feet at the under-construction Mall at Bay Plaza near Co-op City in the Bronx, and hopes to debut on Aug. 14, the day of the mall’s grand opening.

Ulta’s asking rent was in the low-$100s per square foot and the mall’s rents climb as high as the $200 per square foot range (for smaller stores), the landlord’s representative, Jerry Welkis of Welco Realty, told Commercial Observer. Ulta’s lease is for 10 years and marks the retailer’s first location in the Bronx. The brand has more than 550 stores nationwide. Read More

Lease Beat

Brooklyn Getting its First Michael Kors, Fossil and Justice Stores [Updated]

Kings Plaza Shopping Center

South Brooklyn’s Kings Plaza Shopping Center will be home to the borough’s first Michael Kors, Fossil and Justice stores, the mall announced.

Michael Kors, which sells sell apparel, accessories and footwear, leased 4,000 square feet at the borough’s only enclosed mall. Fossil will sell its watches, handbags and jewelry out of a 1,100-square-foot space at the mall and Justice girls clothing store will sell its wares from a 4,200-square-foot space. 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

Stat of the Week

Average Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Rivals Lower Manhattan’s Overall Average Asking Rent


As Macy’s is preparing to kick off the 87th Thanksgiving Day Parade, we look to another Thanksgiving institution, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in this week’s column.

The AFBF has been conducting an informal price survey of the cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner since 1986. According to the AFBF, the average cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal is down this year $0.44 to $49.04. The biggest contributor to the drop in the meal price was higher turkey production this year, which dropped the average price of the bird by $0.47 compared to 2012. Frankly, I spend more than that on all the items that go into my antipasto on Thanksgiving, so clearly my traditional Italian feast is on the high end of the spectrum. But what does this have to do with real estate?

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Report: Macy’s Not Heading to 125th Street After All


The outside general counsel for the National Urban League has denied a rumor that Macy’s was heading to a 400,000-square-foot site owned by the Empire State Development Corporation on 125th Street in Harlem.

NY1 was the first to report earlier this morning that the massive department store chain was expanding to the storied uptown boulevard. The plan angered some locals, who said that the store would displace independent businesses–many of them minority-owned–in the historically black neighborhood. That article is currently not available online.  Read More

Sales Beat

American Realty Capital NYRR to Acquire 1440 Broadway

American Realty Capital

The American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT has agreed to acquire the 750,000-square-foot office tower at 1440 Broadway from Rockpoint Group and Monday Properties for $528.6 million.

“We are pleased to be acquiring 1440 Broadway,” said Michael Happel, chief investment officer of NYRR, in a prepared statement. “The Times Square South neighborhood, we believe, has significant long-term potential as the Times Square submarket pushes south and the Bryant Park submarket pushes north.” Read More

Lease Beat

Law Firm Expands at W&H Properties’ 1350 Broadway


Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP has signed an expansion at W&H Properties1350 Broadway, the landlord announced last week. The law firm, which moved to the building in 2007, increased its presence by 35 percent and will now occupy a total of 37,609 square feet across three floors.

“Tarter Krinsky & Drogin has been a tenant at 1350 Broadway during a period in which we have transformed the property in a $53-million, top-to-bottom upgrade program,” said Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings, which oversees the W&H portfolio, in a prepared statement. “This expansion demonstrates that we’ve delivered on our promises and ensured the highest levels of tenant satisfaction.” Read More

Stat of the Week

The Power 5: The City’s Top 5 Markets


In honor of this week’s Power 100 rankings of real estate professionals, I figured I would create the first annual Power 5 rankings of the top submarkets by year-to-date leasing activity. To make things even across all 17 submarkets, they are based on leases signed and renewed as a percentage of the submarket’s total inventory. So without further ado, here are the Power 5.

Read More

New Developments

Eichner Plans Comeback with Harlem Park Site


With a number of projects in the pipeline, Bruce Eichner is planning a dramatic comeback to New York real estate with an 80/20 residential project at the Harlem Park site he agreed to acquire last week.

Mr. Eichner is in the midst of an architectural competition for the planned development at 1800 Park Avenue and 125th Street, The Commercial Observer has learned.

“He is going to do something creative with the building,” Geoffrey Newman, senior managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, said of the project. “For a rental perspective, I think it’s going to be a spectacular building.” Read More


Weathering the Storm: 4th Quarter Leasing Saw Improvements

4Q12 for web


Times of change and uncertainty are always worrisome for investors—fear takes hold, spending is called into question and valuations become unpredictable.

Mix an election season with the impending threat of a potentially devastating fiscal cliff, then throw in a destructive, rogue tropical storm named Sandy, and you’ve created an environment that is not conducive to a stellar business quarter for the commercial market.

However, thanks to tax law-motivated sales and retail—as well as a handful of big end-of-year leasing deals—the fourth quarter ended on a relatively positive note, despite a slowdown in leasing activity. Read More

Lease Beat

Macy’s Expands, Renews For A Total 197,000 Square Feet At 1440 Broadway


Monday Properties announced the 31,700-square-feet expansion of Macy’s, Inc. at 1440 Broadway, the building Monday Properties owns and operates on the southern fringe of Times Square at 40th Street.

It was the storied 150-year old retailer’s third expansion in two years at the 25-floor office building, and gave it full occupancy of the 10th floor, which Advance Magazine Publishers had  subleased to Skadden Arps since 2006. CBRE Vice Chairmen Scott Gottlieb and Michael Laginestra represented the tenant, while Monday Properties Director Jordan Berger represented the owner. Read More