Wine Shop Grabs Retail Space in Midtown Marble Gem

VPC Tower. (Mr. Von Pok)
VPC Tower. (Mr. Von Pok)


The owner of a distinctive marble building in Midtown East revived the once-crumbling structure, and now his broker has turned water into wine.

Arco Wines, a subsidiary of an experienced fine wine and liquor store operator, signed a 10-year, 2,800-square-foot lease to occupy the basement, ground floor and mezzanine space at 4 East 43rd Street, Commercial Observer has learned. The store will open in May.

Building owner Omega Chang‘s VPC Tower, a eight-story gem surrounded by skyscrapers between Madison and Fifth Avenues, commanded an asking rent of $35,000 per month for the retail space, said Alexander Hill, a managing partner at the Murro Hill brokerage.

“They were attracted to the building because of its unique architecture, marble façade and high ceilings,” Mr. Hill wrote in an email. He added, “The tenant loves the location due to the large commuter density, proximity to Grand Central and Fifth Avenue. Also, there is a high demand for a wine shop, as the area is underserved. This is an exciting new addition for Grand Central commuters who have a limited selection at the existing Grand Central Terminal shop.”

Mr. Hill represented both the landlord and the tenant in the negotiations, he said. He declined to specify other locations operated by the tenant.

Mr. Chang bought the property in 2009 for $6.3 million and later implemented a gut renovation that restored the building’s columns, cherubs and crests, he told CO in August. The owner’s liquor and tobacco marketing company, Mr. Von Pok Inc., operates out of the building’s top two floors.

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