Lease Beat

Zara Headed to FiDi

Rendering of the south view of 222 Broadway, soon-to-be home to Zara

Fashion retail giant Zara signed a 15-year, 30,000-square-foot lease at 222 Broadway, between Ann and Fulton Streets, in the Financial District.

 L&L Holding Company and Beacon Capital Partners are moving the building’s lobby entrance to Fulton Street to make room for Zara, the flagship retail brand of Spanish fashion giant Inditex. The two-story wrap-around store, slated to open late this year or early next year, will have space on the ground, second and lower levels of the building. Read More

Lease Beat

Brooklyn’s City Point Lands First Office Tenant

A rendering of City Point

Artist management and creative content agency Art Partner has signed a 15-year lease to occupy 10,000 square feet at the City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, becoming the development site’s first office tenant.

The agency, whose services include production, syndication and licensing for print, film, social media and more, plans to relocate from its Hudson Square Read More

Mortgage Observer

Development Projects Abound, But Boroughs Still Under-Retailed

Throggs Neck Shopping Center.

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. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Cartier! Versace! Vuitton! Financing Next Gen at Crown’s Ritzy Retail Focus

Chera brothers.

One day in the late 1980s, three Brooklyn brothers in their teens—Isaac, Haim and Richard Chera—followed their grandfather, Isaac, and their father, Stanley, on a trip to Manhattan. While not in school, the brothers would spend much of their spare time in the Fulton Street children’s clothing store that their grandfather had opened in 1948, in a space formerly occupied by a hat store, Suzette Millinery Shop. At the time, lacking the money to replace the previous banner, Isaac Chera simply tweaked it, naming his business Suzette Kiddie Store. Only later, after having expanded to several other stores, did the family change the name to Young World. Soon, the elder Isaac Chera started to invest in real estate. The best advice he gave to his family, according to his grandson, Haim, was to always buy the building where they had a store. Read More

Lease Beat

University of Oxford Tops Off String of Leases at 500 Fifth Avenue

500 Fifth Avenue

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.” Read More

Sales Beat

Capstone Equities Pays $14.25 M for Retail Development and Potential Air Rights Play

Flatbush_Avenue_IMG_0665

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. Read More

ICSC2012

34th Street Partnership Eyes Ambitious Retail Makeover

US-RETAIL-COMPANY-MACY'S

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. Read More

The Power Broker

Joe Sitt: International Man of Mystery

Joseph Sitt: International Man of Mystery.

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. Read More