JLL Marketing Retail Space at Philip House

New York-based real estate investment and development company The Cheshire Group has hired Jones Lang LaSalle to sell the retail space at the base of the Philip House condo conversion project at 141 East 88th Street on the Upper East Side, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 11.36.52 AMThe six spaces, comprising 5,400 square feet on the ground floor and 3,704 square feet in the cellar, are being marketed as 1311 to 1337 Lexington Avenue, as they take up a full block along the avenue.

“It is rare that retail condominium units of this quality become available in the heart of such a vibrant residential neighborhood, particularly within a newly redeveloped building of this stature,” said JLL’s Glenn Tolchin, who is leading the marketing efforts.

Four current tenants include Super Runner’s Shop, Metro Bicycles and Flowers by Philip and Night & Day Locksmith, while the two remaining spaces are vacant. Situated on the entire easterly blockfront of Lexington Avenue, between 88th Street and East 89th Street, they have over 200 feet of frontage along Lexington Avenue.

Citing high traffic along the avenue, retail strength in the area, in-place income from existing tenants and the successful condo conversion project occurring in the building above, Mr. Tolchin called the opportunity a “very safe investment,” noting that bidding for the package will start in the $15 million range.

“This will appeal to a wide variety of buyers, from institutional investors to private equity to families, who are interested in owning a full block front of retail in a premier building, in a premier neighborhood,” he said. “The Upper East Side’s strong retail strength, particularly near the intersection of East 86th and Lexington Avenue, only two blocks from this property, adds tremendous value.”

The Chesire Group, which mostly owns and operates market-rate and rent-regulated properties, purchased 1327-1329 Lexington Avenue (rebranded 141 East 88th Street) from longtime owner Rhinelander Real Estate Company in 2011 for more than $106 million, city records show (reports at the time indicated that bidding on the property had begun as low as $35 million).

Over the course of the last year-and-a-half the firm has been actively converting the 99 residential units in the 12-story, 167,000-square-foot building, with sources noting that between 50 and 70 percent of the condominiums have been sold.

“Philip House has been converted from a classic pre-war building into a modern condominium with all of today’s conveniences,” said Susan Hewitt, a partner at Cheshire, in a statement. “This building is undergoing a major transformation and we expect the retail to benefit from the luxury residences above.”

The building was built in the 1927 by Rhinelander Real Estate Company, one of New York City’s first real estate dynasties, and it has been renamed Philip House in homage of that family’s patriarch. It was originally designed in a Renaissance Revival style, with a classic brick and limestone exterior.

The Chesire Group tapped Victoria Hagan to redesign its interior, creating what the firm has called “luxury residences with a modern twist on traditional living.”

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