Brokers Divulge Westfield WTC Retail Details

WTC hub

Despite the fact that World Trade Center retail developer Westfield Group has yet to announce any tenants for the retail component in the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus transportation hub at the WTC site, the hub will open fully leased next year, a trio of CBRE retail brokers predicted earlier this week.

The global shopping center company that bought the eventual 440,000 square feet of retail space planned for the transit hub and towers 2,3 and 4 from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for $1.4 billion is looking for tenants who can offer omni-channel retailing, the new trend in which stores offer customers the ability to purchase products through a variety of mediums and devices, as well as a unique customer experience, the brokers said at a briefing for the media at CBRE’s Midtown offices. Read More

Retail Eyes West 34th Street for First Store Offline

7 West 34th Street

Website behemoth will open its first brick-and-mortar store, according to a Wall Street Journal article published Tuesday.

The enormous online empire and largest Internet-based company in the U.S. will have space at 7 West 34th Street, a property owned by Vornado Realty Trust. The 10-story commercial building includes 23,000 square feet of retail space and over 400,000 square feet of office space. Read More


Jay-Z’s Family Wings Business Plans Big Expansions

Adam Stupak and Jamar White

As hungry wing-lovers lined up at Buffalo Boss on a busy weekday afternoon at a Downtown Brooklyn location of the organic chicken wings business that rap legend and entrepreneur Jay-Z helped his cousin Jamar White and Mr. White’s business partner Ronald Lee start in 2010, Mr. White and his broker, Adam Stupak of TASK Realty, invited Commercial Observer inside for an exclusive chat and chicken sampling.

With hip-hop music blaring from the speakers and Japanese animation running on flat screen televisions in the 1,200-square-foot fast-service eatery at 400 Jay Street, Mr. White dished out both boneless and bone-in selections to go with Buffalo Boss’s homemade blue cheese dressing and insider information on the growing company’s enlargement ideas. Read More


Inside the New ‘Normal’ in Brick and Mortar

Normal store

Just weeks after opening its flagship store and factory in an 11,000-square-foot space on the ground and basement floors of the Chelsea Castle building at 150 West 22nd Street, the Normal custom earphone company and building landlord M. Rapaport Co. invited Commercial Observer for an exclusive tour of the brand new store.

The facility where Normal’s 10 3-D printers churn out earbuds custom-designed for every individual customer showcases the experience-based, tech-savvy methods that today’s retailers are employing in an age where brick-and-mortar retailers like the sleek, glassy store between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue appear anything but traditional. Read More


J&R Express Planned at Century 21 Flagship

Century 21 (Chor Ip:Flickr).

J&R Music and Computer World will open a 1,500-square-foot boutique location inside the Century 21 flagship department store at 22 Cortlandt Street, between Broadway and Church Street, The New York Post reported. The new store is expected to open in October.

J&R, which was founded in 1971 by Joe and Rachelle Friedman, closed its store at 1-15 Park Row in April. While the company’s website says it plans to redevelop its Park Row store, J&R is currently without an open location. Read More


Subsidized Residents Question New Private Learning Center

444 Second Avenue.

The private Explore + Discover early learning center slated to open in a retail space on the ground floor of the 14-floor, 404-unit Henry Phipps Plaza South affordable housing complex has provoked questions about whether it’s appropriate to place the pricey daycare program in a building whose occupants can’t afford it.

While residents of the building of 290 Section 8 units and 114 other affordable apartments at 444 Second Avenue in Kips Bay acknowledged that nonprofit landlord Phipps Houses Services could help pay for upkeep of their subsidized housing through the 15-year, $80-per-square foot lease, they expressed frustration that their children wouldn’t have access to the educational programs for pupils aged three months to two years. Read More


Jeff Sutton Sole Owner of 747 Madison Avenue Retail


Jeff Sutton is the buyer of SL Green‘s 33.3 percent stake in the retail co-op at 747 Madison Avenue, according to a New York Post report. The deal makes Mr. Sutton the sole owner of the space.

SL Green announced earlier this week it had agreed to sell its stake in the co-op in deal valuing the space at $160 million. In conjunction with the sale, the real estate investment trust agreed to make a $30 million preferred equity investment in the property.

Read More


Related Picks Winick to Market Luxury Tower Retail


Related Companies has selected Winick Realty Group to exclusively market four newly-constructed retail spaces that will anchor a 34-story luxury residential building at 500 West 30th Street.

Located at a crossroads between the High Line, Chelsea and Hudson Yards, the tower offers retailers a space at the base of 390 residential units set to be Read More


Nordstrom Rack to Open in Downtown Brooklyn Next Year


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.” Read More


Up, Up and Away: Retailers Pushing Boundaries on Upper East Side


National retailers are pushing north from 72nd Street on the Upper East Side, chasing changing demographics and searching for value, according to several brokers active in the market. Both 86th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues and Madison Avenue north of 72nd Street have seen strong activity and booming lease prices.

“I did deals up there 10 or 15 years ago and was hard-pressed to push $110 to $120 per square foot,” said Patrick Breslin, executive vice president of global retail at Studley. “Today, if you can find good real estate on Lex on 82nd to 85th, you’re looking at $400, $500, $600 per square foot.” Read More


REBNY Issues Call for Submissions for Retail Deal of the Year Awards


The Real Estate Board of New York has opened the submission process for the Retail Deal of the Year Awards, it was announced yesterday. The awards recognize the most creative and significant retail deals in New York City.

Submissions for the awards are due April 25. Winners will be announced at the REBNY Retail Committee’s Deal of the Year cocktail party on June 11.

“It’s certainly the most prestigious award given in our business,” Peter Braus, retail committee chair at REBNY, told The Commercial Observer. “As retail has gotten to be more of a factor in New York real estate, it has gotten to be quite the market prestige to win the award.” Read More


Eight New Stores to Hit Chelsea Market Next Month

Chelsea Market

Ownership at the Chelsea Market is reportedly renovating 5,700 square feet of space to make way for eight new vendor kiosks, where cooking and food preparation will be on display for its 120,000 weekly visitors.

Most of the space was created when Amy’s Bread moved part of its operations off-site, and the rest will come from the renovation of a loading dock and an office, the New York Times reports.

Leases are currently being negotiated and rates will run in the $200 to $400 per square foot range, and the stores, to be delivered in plug-and-play condition and geared towards start-ups and “less-established” businesses, will be operational as soon as mid-February, said Michael Phillips, COO of Jamestown Properties, according to the Times. Read More


Retail Run on Bowery

Bowery is fast becoming a retail hotbed. (image: Peter Guthrie on Flickr)

Much has been made of the metamorphosis of the Bowery from one time skid row to trendy runway. Boutique hotels, apartment buildings, the New Museum and residential developments have landed and it seems retail is realizing the street’s potential.

“I really think it’s coming together down there,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail Read More

Lease Beat, Retail

Opening Office in 7 WTC, Westfield Ramps Up to Begin Leasing WTC Retail

WTC Site When Finished

Westfield is ramping up its efforts to market and lease the roughly 365,000 square feet of retail space that is being constructed at the World Trade Center several sources say.

The company, one of the country’s largest owners and operators of retail and mall space, leased an office high in 7 World Trade Center overlooking the 16-acre WTC site and has installed a sophisticated marketing suite that it is using to woo big name tenants. Read More