Lease Beat

Apparel Supplier Inks Deal at 1370 Broadway

1370 Broadway

Intradeco Apparel has signed a lease for the entire 16,787-square-foot seventh floor at Normandy Real Estate Partners1370 Broadway, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The apparel supplier will pay rent starting in the mid-$40s per square foot, according to data from CompStak. Asking rents in the building are approximately $50 per square foot, according to listings on TheSquareFoot. Read More

ICSC 2013

The Walmart Conundrum: Four Brokers Weigh In on Behemoth’s NYC Struggle


If one hot-button retail issue has dominated the New York real estate landscape in recent years, it’s been Walmart. The giant discount retailer has been trying to find a suitable location in the city for nearly a decade, but resistance has been fierce. The reasons for this resistance range from the big-box store’s labor practices to the perceived threat to local retailers.

The conflict came to a climax last year when Christine Quinn, democratic candidate for mayor, snarled, “As long as Walmart’s behavior remains the same, they’re not welcome in New York City.” Last week, The Commercial Observer spoke with some of New York’s leading retail brokers about the role of politics in retail real estate, what Walmart can do to ingratiate itself and which locations, if any, are suited to its footprint.

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the lead indicator

Tax It All or Don’t Tax at All

chandan silo for web

The Senate has taken up the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would upend the overlong tax holiday for Internet commerce.

It’s not that online purchases have been tax-free. Unless you are in one of the few jurisdictions with no sales tax, your opportunity for a good-citizenship declaration of online purchases comes every April 15. Predictably, only a tiny share of American taxpayers seizes the chance. Read More

concrete thoughts

We’ve Got Your Package Right Here


As the year draws to a close, I usually dole out holiday wishes for those who are either directly or indirectly related to the commercial real estate industry in New York City.

However, in a year in which politics has been such a central theme, this year’s focus will take stock of how our elected officials have performed and what Santa should give them. Read More


On 10th Anniversary of First NYC Pop-Up, Retailers Look Back

43 Mercer vintage

It was a Los Angeles-based company inspired by Japanese shopping habits that brought pop-up retail to America. During a trip to Tokyo in 1999, Russ Miller witnessed the lengths to which the city’s famously voracious consumers would go to buy rare and limited-edition products.

Mr. Miller brought that mind-set back to L.A. with Vacant, “a retail concept and exhibition store” that would open shops only to close them as soon as they ran out of goods.

Discount retailer Target once again positioned itself as the funky anti-Walmart when it took over a 220-foot-long boat at Chelsea Piers for a two-week stay on the Hudson River that coincided with Black Friday in November of 2002. Vacant arrived in New York in February 2003, working with Dr. Martens on a pop-up space at 43 Mercer Street. Read More


ICSC 2012: A Walk on the Wild Side


The International Council of Shopping Centers landed in New York at the Hilton yesterday morning for Day 1 of its two-day New York National Conferences. Keynote addresses were made, palms were greased and rubbery chicken was endured, as attendees shuffled between booths set up by retailers and brokerage firms ranging from A&G Realty Partners to Zinburger Frozen Yogurt.

After the jump, The Commercial Observer’s Billy Gray joins, and attempts to stay above, the fray.
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The Sit-Down

Retail is Dead, Long Live Retail: Patrick Smith of SRS Real Estate on the Future of Brick-and-Mortar

Patrick Smith.

Patrick Smith is an executive vice president and principal of the retail real estate services firm SRS Real Estate Partners, which was spun off from Staubach when that company was acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle. Mr. Smith is a busy leasing dealmaker not only in the city but nationally and represents a host of large retailers that have been active in the market both here and around the country, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Party City and Disney. With ICSC, the biggest retail event of the year, only weeks away, Mr. Smith weighed in on the state of the retail market with The Commercial Observer and discussed what he has planned for this year’s conference in Las Vegas. Read More

Walmart Wars

Hate Mail: Anti-Walmart Group Sends Postcards Slamming Steve Ross to All 7,200 Related Residents [Updated]

Picture 5

While Walmart refuses to say if, when or where it might finally open a store within the five boroughs, one of its favored sites is the Related Company’s Gateway Center Mall in the far reaches of Brooklyn. The area is economically depressed, meaning the cheap jobs and cheap merchandise are (theoretically) desirable. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union sees Walmart jobs as junk, and they have been campaigning against the store since it resurfaced a two years ago.

Today, they made things personal, not just with Steve Ross, Related’s founder and CEO, but also his more than 7,200 tenants in the New York area. Read More


The White Whale of West 57th Street: Nordstrom appears poised for NYC


It’s the great white whale of Manhattan retail.

Aside from Walmart, Nordstrom is the store every retail broker in the city dreams of harpooning and reeling into a new home. One prominent broker familiar with the store, the amount of space it needs and the rents it would probably be willing to pay estimates that the commission for handling its lease would be around $10 million.

But like a leviathan lurking beneath the waves, the department store has offered only fleeting glimpses around the city, most notably at several development sites and a few existing assets with the capacity to accommodate its sprawling footprint.

The scuttlebutt nowadays: Nordstrom is contemplating one of two leases, one at the West Side rail yards with the Related Companies or another at the base of Extell Development’s soaring new residential tower now rising at 157 West 57th Street. Read More

Whale Watch

Wooing Walmart: NYC brokers still have eyes for elusive retailer

The Category Killer.

The weekly phone calls. The dinner invites. The gifts.

When representatives from Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, waltz into the New York Hilton for this year’s two-day International Council of Shopping Centers conference, many of the city’s most intrepid retail brokers will be close behind them, perhaps even plying those officials with compliments, dinner invitations and business opportunities. Read More

concrete thoughts

Wal-Mart and the Lesson of Betamax

The other day, I was walking around the city taking photographs of buildings for a marketing brochure I am putting together. I was using my old Polaroid Land Camera–you know, the one where the photograph slides out of the front of the camera and develops right before your very eyes. As I was Read More