Sorgente Rents Soho Retail Space to the Showroom CITE


The Soho furniture and accessory showroom CITE—that’s short for “Commercial Interiors and Trade Show Exhibits”—is moving down the road from its current space at 131 Greene Street to 32 Greene Street, at the corner of Grand Street. The international real estate investment firm Sorgente Group of America, which owns several trophy building across the U.S. including the iconic Flatiron Building, rented the 5,520-square-foot, two-story space to CITE for $150 per square foot.

CITE features exclusive collections of contemporary furniture from Cecchini, Italy; Palau, Holland; the Verner Panton lighting collection; mid-century modern collectors’ pieces from Saarinen; and young designers from around the world.Veronica Mainetti, president of the Rome-based Sorgente Group of America, told the The Commercial Observer that renting 32 Greene Street to a showroom that sells Italian design was just coincidence.

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“Greene Street is now the street of design,” Ms. Mainetti said. “That part of the street is growing, but at the same time there isn’t the same traffic that you can find in Prince Street, for example.” With 15-foot ceilings and a large front window overlooking the street, the space was “super attractive” for many prospective tenants, Ms. Mainetti said. “There are no other spaces like this on Greene Street,” she added.

Sorgente bought the Soho building in 2007 for $14.8 million. It restored it and converted it into a seven-unit condo with one retail space. The last three residential units—a duplex penthouse and two apartments on the fourth floor—were sold last March for $19 million.

Ms. Mainetti said she received several proposals to buy the retail unit, too. “But at the moment I would never sell it,” she said.
Most recently Sorgente made headlines for a $28.5 million acquisition of the Fine Arts Building in Los Angeles, last June.