Cushman & Wakefield represented ownership at 500 Fifth Avenue in a 10,346-square-foot lease renewal to The University of Oxford, completing a string of five recent leases at the building.
The Oxford lease and four other recent leases arranged at the 680,000-square-foot Class-A skyscraper total roughly 20,000 square feet and are reflective of the building’s flexibility, which attracts a range of tenant types and a blend of the old with the new, brokers said.
“They all have a different story,” said C&W’s Harry Blair, who represented 500 Fifth Avenue Inc. with Sean Kearns in the transactions. “500 Fifth Avenue offers tenants a prestigious Midtown Manhattan address combined with high-quality space with plenty of natural light and spectacular views of Bryant Park.”
Capstone Equities has scooped up a prominent retail corner location at 1-9 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, with plans to reposition the retail and potentially use the air rights on the current structure to tack on a residential component, sources tell The Commercial Observer.
City records confirm that the firm paid $14.25 million for the two-story property, and a source familiar with the company said the plan is to draw in a stable retailer then assess the options to use the 50,000 square feet of air rights to build residential units – and possibly dormitories.
This week, as brokers and retailers descend upon Manhattan for the International Council of Shopping Centers’ conference in New York, retail consultants John Harding and Richard Cohan, of the 34th Street Partnership, will be meeting with eight to 10 representatives of brands, restaurants and stores each day to convince them to seek locations in the 34th Street area. Given the retail and brand presence already in place along the retail corridor, they may not have to try very hard.
Mr. Cohan, one of the organization’s retail specialists, lists B&H, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Foot Locker and Zara as brands that have found a home in the area. There are also newcomers—Joe Fresh and Vince Camuto have set up shop between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and Timberland landed in the area last year, as did Uniqlo.
The Power Broker
Joe Sitt reclined in his office wearing the sly little smile of someone who knows something more than we do.
“Another retailer that we represent asked us if we could find them a space in Tehran,” he said.
Mr. Sitt seemed fascinated, not appalled (Mr. Sitt’s family is Syrian Jewish) or the least bit bewildered by the request.
“So many of the European retailers are operating stores in Iran,” the head of Thor Equities explained to The Commercial Observer. “We’re a little bit in a bubble in the U.S. Adolfo, Desigual, Mango, Diesel, I don’t remember which ones, but two out of four already have stores there. [In] Saudi Arabia, Mango already has 50 stores there. I have another request for Equador. Zara wants more stores in Venezuela. I’ve had requests for Russia. Those are some of the examples that show you the world is changing.”
Mr. Sitt can relate to clients like these, which he caters to through a relatively new arm of his real estate empire, a brokerage business called Thor High Street.
He too ventured off the beaten path to get where he is today; by many accounts one of the city’s most prolific and successful investors with a focus on retail properties.