99 Problems: Beleaguered Rocawear Sheds Space At 1411 Broadway



Rocawear, the clothing label co-founded by rapper Jay-Z, is striking a deal to shrink its space at 1411 Broadway after laying off half of its staff in January.

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The apparel company, which focuses on budget fashion urbanwear, is renewing for the building’s entire 39th floor while jettisoning space it has on 38.

jayz 99 Problems: Beleaguered Rocawear Sheds Space At 1411 Broadway
Jay-Z.

The new lease will consolidate the company’s presence at the 1.2-million-square-foot office tower into about 25,000 square feet from 40,000 square feet.

Rents for space in the upper portion of the 40-story building ask for rates in the $70s per square foot, though it wasn’t clear what Rocawear was negotiating to pay by press time.

When the company last renewed in 2009, a low point in the rental market, rents for its space were priced in the $50s per square foot according to written reports at the time.

In January, Rocawear laid off 28 of 56 workers it employs in its New York office according to a filing with the Department of Labor. In the notice, Rocawear cited “economic” reasons for the layoffs.

Representatives at the company couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Rocawear is represented in leasing deals by Brian Waterman and Lance Korman, executives at the real estate services company Newmark Knight Frank. Neither Mr. Waterman or Mr. Korman could be reached for comment.

A leasing team from the real estate services firm CBRE represents 1411 Broadway’s landlord, the Blackstone Group. The CBRE brokers replaced a team last year led by the Jones Lang LaSalle leasing executive Paul Glickman who formerly repped the buidling. The CBRE team has been focusing on floors at the top of 1411 Broadway that are available for lease. The real estate database website Mrofficespace.com lists several floors there, including 32, 34, 35 and 38 available, totalling over 100,000 square feet.

The space give-back is the latest black eye for Jay-Z in a real estate deal. In 2009, the rapper handed a parcel near the High Line back to his creditors that he was planning to develop with other partners into a hotel. Last year, that site was sold to the Albanese Group, which is planning to erect a boutique office tower on the site.

dgeiger@observer.com