Mortgage Observer

Jeff Sutton Receives $95M Loan for Harlem Whole Foods Project

100 West 125th Street Rendering.

Wharton Properties has obtained a construction loan from Natixis Real Estate Capital to develop a 33,000 square foot retail property along 125th Street, Harlem’s busiest commercial thoroughfare, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

A person with knowledge of the loan confirmed the amount as $95 million and added that it was a three-year, interest-only loan with two 12-month extension options. The interest rate, that person said, is roughly 300 to 399 basis points over one-month Libor. The loan closed on July 11. Read More

Feature Story

For Retailers, a Kings County Presence Can Now Trump a Manhattan Debut

Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

National and international retailers until recently may have been commitment-phobes when it came to opening stores in Brooklyn, but that fear has been nearly quelled as mainstream chains like Whole Foods, J.Crew and H&M establish presences in the borough. And now that the big boys of retail are joining creative entrepreneurs, international and national brands have grown increasingly comfortable bypassing Manhattan and breaking into the New York City market via Brooklyn, especially Williamsburg.

Take the London-based record store Rough Trade, which since November has sold albums, served food and drinks and hosted concerts and exhibitions to crowds at Rough Trade NYC, at 64 North Ninth Street in Williamsburg. And then there’s European luxury kitchen goods company Cucina & Tavola, which recently opened its first New York City store at Williamsburg’s 235 Grand Street. In addition, Urban Outfitters’ concept store, Space Ninety 8, debuted in April at 98 North Sixth Street in the same neighborhood. Read More

On the Market

Retail Space on 57th Street Hits the Market

225 East 57th Street retail. (Eastern Consolidated)

Eastern Consolidated is marketing a 7,500-square-foot ground-floor retail space at 225 East 57th Street, Commercial Observer has learned. Located between Second and Third Avenues, the commercial condo unit also sits directly across from Whole Foods.

“There have been a lot of big-name national brands opening up here,” said James Famularo of Eastern Consolidated, who is marketing the space. “This corridor was great and it’s getting a lot better.” Read More

ICSC 2014

SCG Retail’s Chase Welles Talks Whole Foods, RECon and Tinder

Chase Welles of The Shopping Center Group5/13/14

Retail pro Chase Welles is a man with a mission. The executive vice president of SCG Retail represents some of the biggest tenants—Whole Foods, Kohl’s, LA Fitness—and is always looking for new locations for them. He and David Firestein owned Northwest Atlantic until a couple of years ago when the company merged with the Atlanta-based Shopping Center Group. Today, the duo owns 90 percent of what became SCG Retail, the Shopping Center Group’s New York division. On the week of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon in Las Vegas, Commercial Observer sat down with Mr. Welles in his Columbus Circle office to chat about his Williamsburg Whole Foods deal, Tinder and boating. Read More

Lease Beat

WeWork Inks First Lease in Brooklyn with W’burg Space

242 Bedford Avenue.

WeWork has sealed a deal for a 40,000-square-foot space above the planned Whole Foods in Williamsburg, in what amounts to the shared office provider’s first Brooklyn location, sources with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

WeWork signed the dotted line within the last month in a direct deal for the entire second floor at Aurora Capital Associates242 Bedford Avenue,  the sources said. The price was rumored to be in the ballpark of the $50s-per-foot prevailing price in that submarket, the sources said. Read More

Lease Beat

Yoga Studio Stretches Into Flatiron Location

19 West 21st Street

Marking its seventh Manhattan studio, Exhale has signed a lease for 3,027 square feet at 19 West 21st Street.

Exhale’s Mind-Body Studio will be on the ground floor of the Flatiron area building, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, when it opens for business in May. This marks the yoga studio’s seventh Manhattan location. Read More

Brooklyn Issue

A Spec Office Building Signals W’burg’s Transformation Into a 24-7 Destination

Williamsburg's still-evolving waterfront. (Credit: Mark Stinson)

Williamsburg’s real estate success story has mostly centered on its residential boom—until now. With a new speculative office tower planned for the Brooklyn neighborhood and high-profile retailers preparing to set up shop, the former industrial area and hipster haven is becoming a hotbed of major league commercial activity.

The neighborhood has been abuzz over, and not always happy about, its residential development, which, with many more projects on the horizon, continues to overshadow the commercial market. There are more than 6,100 residential units in the pipeline, according to data compiled by MNS in January.  Read More

Coming Soon

Whole Foods on Track for Mid-2014 Williamsburg Opening


After securing a $45 million loan from Meridian Capital Group to finance the development of Williamsburg’s first Whole Foods, the healthful grocery Goliath is targeting a mid-2014 debut.

The 35,000-square-foot store at 240-242 Bedford Avenue is part of a 150,000-square-foot development that will take up a full block of North 4th Street between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street. The project will also include a New York Sports Club and luxury rental apartments. Read More

Lease Beat

CVS Inks on Lower East Side

Courtesy of CVS

CVS Pharmacy is the latest tenant to move to the Lower East Side, inking a deal at 42-56 East Houston Street.

The pharmacy chain, whose presence is limited and overshadowed by Walgreens and Duane Reade in the city, will be taking a 10,365-square-foot space that spans the entire block between Mulberry and Mott streets. Read More


REBNY Retail Deal of the Year Awards, Minute By Minute


About 200 retail real estate specialists gathered at 101 Park Avenue’s 101 Club last Tuesday for the Real Estate Board of New York’s 15th annual Retail Deal of the Year Awards cocktail party.

Brokers flocked to a bountiful buffet and an open bar with generous pours. In a lonely corner, an ignored PowerPoint presentation summarized the nominees. Here’s what went down as the assembled waited to hear which of the nine submitted transactions would take home the evening’s two big honors. Read More


REBNY Gives Retail Deal of the Year Honors to David LaPierre, Jacqueline Klinger, Chase Welles

From left to right: David LaPierre, Jacqueline Klinger, Chase Welles

Brokers who brought big name chain retailers to a pair of Jeff Sutton properties won big last night at the Real Estate Board of New York‘s Retail Deal of the Year Awards at 101 Park Avenue.

David LaPierre of CBRE nabbed the prize for  “most ingenious and creative retail deal that demonstrates exceptional broker acumen” for a transaction that brought Express to 1552-1560 Broadway. Jacqueline Klinger and Chase Welles of SCG Retail‘s success in landing Whole Foods in Harlem (at 100 West 125th Street) were deemed the brokers behind “the retail deal which is most significant in its overall characteristics and importance to the New York City Retail Market” Read More