Chain Chain Chain

Growth of National Chains Slows Significantly in NYC

Photo: Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

Fewer national chains opened New York City locations between 2012 and 2013 than in any year since at least 2008 according to a report by the nonprofit research group Center for an Urban Future.

The slight 0.5 percent increase in the number of chain retail locations paled in comparison to the 2.4 percent spike between 2011 and 2012. In fact, there are currently fewer chains in Queens and Manhattan than last year, perhaps giving hope to critics of the city’s supposed transformation into an outdoor mall. Read More

The Plan

Check Out New 59th Street-Columbus Circle Subway Shopping Corridor


Two weeks ago, the Metropolitan Transit Authority announced it had tapped Columbus Development to build, curate and manage Shop//Stop, an unprecedented 27,000-square-foot retail concourse at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle subway station.

As part of the plan, the developer will invest $6.5 million in capital improvements to the concourse, through which 21 million commuters pass each year. Columbus Development Principal Susan Fine, who previously worked on retail projects at the World Financial Center and Grand Central Terminal, spoke to The Commercial Observer last week about the unique challenges and opportunities presented by this public-private project.

“We’re trying to create a family of stores—a curated group of stores—which will both serve the transit rider and the population on the street,” she said.

Read More

Footlong and Strong

Subway Squeeze: No End in Sight for Sandwich Spot’s Expansion

A Subway restaurant in the East Village.

Normally, Jared Fogle would be the biggest in-store distraction for Subway customers hungry for a hero. But the larger commotion during Thursday’s lunch rush involved Elmo and the Cookie Monster.

Mr. Fogle, the improbable Subway spokesman for 15 years, turned a few heads at the sandwich chain’s 126 West 41st Street branch last week during a press meet and greet. He even posed for a quick picture with the Times Square Sesame Street mascots before the unflappable people beneath those full-body suits removed their masks and chowed down at a corner table.

“Only in New York!” squealed one Subway representative. Read More

Lease Beat

Winick Realty Group Selected to Lease One New York Plaza Retail Concourse

One New York Plaza

Winick Realty Group has been selected by Brookfield Office Properties to exclusively market 40,000 square feet of vacant sub-level retail space at One New York Plaza.

The space, damaged during Hurricane Sandy and slated to be rebuilt and repositioned, makes up the concourse level of the 2.6-million-square-foot Class A tower, with entryways on Whitehall, Broad and Water Streets. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

One New York Plaza Retail Concourse to Be Rebuilt After Post-Sandy Flooding

The Plaza Shops (Al Barbarino)

Brookfield Office Properties was forced to gut the 31,000-square-foot, sub-level retail concourse at One New York Plaza after severe flooding brought on by Hurricane Sandy destroyed it, and now the commercial real estate owner plans to rebuild the space and bring new tenants in, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The estimated 23-million-gallons of water that flooded the lower levels of the building were removed within a week of the storm’s touchdown on the southern tip of Manhattan.

But as of Monday night, multiple giant yellow heating ducts resembling something from an alien horror flick continued to pump warm air into the building’s retail center — The Plaza Shops — amid the rumbling of temporary generators. Read More

Tales of Investments

Urstadt Biddle Properties Invests In Entity To Own Rockland Shopping Center

Orangetown Shopping Center.

Greenwich-based REIT Urstadt Biddle Properties has acquired an interest in a limited liability company that it said will both own and operate the Orangetown Shopping Center, at 15 Dutch Hill Road in Orangeburg.

The Rockland County shopping center is 75,000 square feet and anchored by a 12,400-square-foot CVS drug store. Other tenants there include Allstate, Dunkin Donuts and Subway. Overall, it’s 96 percent leased, UBP’s CFO John Hayes tells The Commercial Observer. Read More

Planes Trains & Automobiles

They Can’t Even Afford a Second Manhattan Station, But Now the 7 Train Will Stop in Secaucus?

Westward, ho… after all!

In the confusion following the disappearance of the ARC Tunnel last month, the biggest question seemed to be what would happen to the $3 billion the federal government had set aside for the trans-Hudson train tunnel, by certain measures the largest transportation project ever undertaken. Local politicians, including Mayor Bloomberg Read More