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.”
New York City is the number one retail location in the world. Retailers from around the world flock to open flagship stores throughout the Big Apple. Apple’s store on Fifth Avenue, with its familiar cube, has the highest revenue of all Apple stores. Then there are the flagships of Uniqlo, Zara, Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman and a cast of others. Nevertheless, when you ask prominent owners of commercial real estate as well as local and national retailers, the general consensus is that the outer boroughs of New York City are severely under-retailed.
Eastern Consolidated’s Barbara Byrne Denham reported in May 2012 that retail sales per capita ratios for the outer boroughs were far below the national average. Brooklyn was 39 percent below, Queens was 40 percent below and the Bronx came in a whopping 60 percent below.
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.
What a difference five years makes. When Winick Realty Group Executive Vice President Lori Shabtai marketed a 13,000-square-foot retail space at 459 Broadway in 2008, she hinged part of the sell on the cachet of the intersection of Broadway and Grand Street.
“I called it the heart of Soho,” Ms. Shabtai, 52, said during an interview in her well-appointed (and well-heated) office. “I remember a broker calling me and saying, ‘That’s more like the colon of Soho.’”
That any doubts persisted so recently about the viability of that block attests to the dizzyingly fast rate of change in New York real estate. The interaction also attests to Ms. Shabtai’s prescience and her quick mastery of the steep learning curve in commercial real estate, a field she entered just eight years ago.
With the long-awaited Barclays Center open and new residential and mixed-use development projects popping up across Downtown Brooklyn, a retail conundrum is growing along the 17-block Fulton Mall.
The national and in some cases high-end retailers moving onto the strip paint a stark contrast to the long list of mom-and-pops, local discounters and jewelry shops that once almost exclusively lined the street.