A discount department store that was considered an institution on West 125th Street is getting a new life as a retail establishment. The Rosen family, who owned Bargain World and the building that housed it, has leased out the entire property to an out-of-town retail operator, Commercial Observer has learned.
The tenant signed a 99-year triple-net ground lease at 4-14 West 125th Street, the lone broker in the deal, Robert Khodadadian of Skyline Properties, said, and the property will be delivered vacant. The taking rent is $25 per square foot for the entire property, or $60 a foot if just calculating the most valuable 8,935-square-foot, ground-floor retail space.
The sellers are “taking advantage of the huge retail opportunity over there,” Mr. Khodadadian said.
Bargain World, which occupied the entire four-story, roughly 30,000-square-foot building for 40 years (using the address of 8 West 125th Street), sold everything but clothes and food, the New York Times wrote in an August 2001 story about its imminent closing. The store, which had been in the Rosen family for three generations, was the victim of a 1980 electrical fire that required the family to rebuild the entire building as well as a mugging, riots and recessions, the Times said. The building is on the same block as former President Bill Clinton‘s office.
Today, Harlem Furniture and Boost Mobile are occupying two of the retail spaces on the ground floor. The rest of the property is vacant.
The new owner, who Mr. Khodadadian wouldn’t identify by name, is planning to convert the ground floor into one big retail space, with 100 feet of retail frontage on 125th Street. He is then turning the second-floor office space into retail and keeping the upper two floors as offices. The second through fourth floors are each 7,086 square feet.
“The retail rents are going up so high over there,” Mr. Khodadadian said. “Credited tenants are moving up there more and more.”