Retail, Finance

Believe the Hype: Retail Redux

ICSC crowd in Las Vegas.

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”—Yogi Berra, possibly talking about the cabana parties in Las Vegas at ICSC.

Approximately 36,000 real estate professionals attended the ICSC annual convention in Las Vegas this May. That number is more like 50,000 when you count the people who came simply to attend the private parties held at Read More


Hudson’s Bay to Refinance Saks Fifth Avenue Land With $1.25B Loan

The Saks Fifth Avenue building.

Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company and The Bank of Nova Scotia are providing a $1.25 billion mortgage to Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay Company to refinance the ground below its Saks Fifth Avenue building at 611 Fifth Avenue, according to a release from the borrower.

The lenders appraised the landmark building at about $3.7 billion, based on the assumption that the entire property is net leased at an estimated fair-market rent by the luxury retailer. HBC acquired the Saks retail chain, including its 650,000-square-foot flagship store in Midtown, last year for $2.9 billion. Read More


Saks Plans Stores, Office Space Downtown

Brookfield Place.

Saks Fifth Avenue is planning two locations in Lower Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal reported. The expansion would include a department store and Saks Off Fifth outlet, along with a potential 400,000 square-foot office space for the department store’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co.

The possible site of the department store is Brookfield Place, while the outlet and office-space headquarters may be located at Brookfield’s One Liberty Plaza building, according to the Journal. Read More

Lease Beat

DMV Relocating to 21 Penn Plaza

21 Penn Plaza

The Department of Motor Vehicles is trading Herald Square for 21 Penn Plaza, where the government agency will receive a complete build out—featuring a separate entrance and lobby–from landlord the Feil Organization.

The DMV has signed a 10-year lease for 27,500 square feet at the building. The deal includes the entire second floor and a 1,385-square-foot street-level space. 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


Flagship Retail Locations Could Spell REIT after Hudson’s Bay, Saks Deal


Hudson’s Bay Company will explore the creation of a real estate investment trust as the company’s proposed acquisition of Saks Inc. stands to add a number of flagship retail locations to the company’s portfolio. HBC agreed to acquire Saks for $16.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.9 billion.

The merger will create a large real estate portfolio that will include the Saks Fifth Avenue locations on Fifth Avenue in New York and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, as well as Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue location. Read More

Lease Beat

Vornado Scoops Ground Lease at Art Deco Gem Swiss Center

608 Fifth Avenue

Vornado Realty Trust has reportedly taken control of the ground lease at the landmarked 11-story Swiss Center at 608 Fifth Avenue, where the REIT is marketing 44,440 square feet of retail space across four of its floors.

Vornado took over RFR Realty’s mortgage on the property last March with an $8.5 million payment that RFR owed to another lender and signed the ground lease on the property with the family of the late Sarah Korein, which owns the land under the building, according to the New York Post. Read More

Sales Beat

Midtown Retains Title for Most Expensive Place to Park as Another Parking Garage Nets Multiple Millions

(Credit: Women's Health)

New York City.  Land of opportunity.  Safe haven for foreign investors.  And home of the multi-million dollar parking garage — thanks to the highest parking rates in the country.

The latest parking lot to sell this month was scooped up by Imperial Parking Systems Inc. at 304 West 49th Street for $14 million, city records show.

The sale highlights the continued viability and high profitability of running and operating parking garages in the city, which the latest data shows is still the most expensive place to park.

A parking rate survey by Colliers International for 2012 comparing parking rates in locations throughout the United States shows New York City still has the highest rates by far after taking the crown during the previous year. Read More

Cushman & Wakefield and Hall & Oates: “Private Eyes/They’re Watching You”

Private eyes/They're watching you/They see your every move

Brokerage firms Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International are said to be testing out a new technology that tracks the amount of foot traffic and automobile traffic around their buildings.

The technology, Motionloft, is backed by eccentric NBA owner and billionaire Mark Cuban and employs sensors to track the number of people entering a building, as was first reported by The Real Deal

The San Francisco-based company has reportedly already put sensors along Broadway while also planning to add ones in Times Square and “another Midtown location.” Read More

RECon: Las Vegas

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeffrey Roseman on New York and Las Vegas

Jonathan Roseman

Jeffrey Roseman is an executive vice president and principal of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s retail business and is a top retail leasing executive in the city. Mr. Roseman, who has handled a number of prominent leases over his long career, spoke to The Commercial Observer about how ICSC remains important for top-tier dealmakers, how retail isn’t going away despite the growth of e-commerce and what recent departures from Newmark means both to him and as part an industrywide shake-up in brokerage. As usual, Mr. Roseman will be heading into ICSC with several interesting space availabilities he is marketing. Read More

Lease Beat

Ted Baker to Open Fifth Avenue Flagship

Ted Baker

Ted Baker, the high-end clothing retailer, will open a flagship store at 595 Fifth Avenue, it was announced today.

The U.K.-based company signed a long-term net lease for 12,000 square feet at the corner of 48th Street and Fifth Avenue, just down from retail icon Saks Fifth Avenue. Ted Baker will use three of the five floors of the building, which they will rent in its entirety, for retail, while the balance are for office and showroom uses. Just a block from high-profile tenants Michael Kors and LaCoste, the space could command up to $2000 per square foot, sources not affiliated with the deal speculated. Read More