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MLB Opening 17K-SF Flagship Store in Midtown


Major League Baseball plans to slide into its first permanent retail space in Midtown next year.

The professional baseball organization inked a deal for 17,000 square feet on the first-floor and basement of the Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Avenue of the Americas, also known as the Time & Life Building, between West 50th and West 51st Streets, in addition to the 325,000-square-feet of office space the league already has in the building, MLB announced over the weekend. 

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MLB will take over the space previously occupied by TV network SportsNet New York — which moved to 4 World Trade Center — for its new shop, dubbed the MLB Flagship Store, in the summer of 2020, according to the league and a spokesman for the landlord.

The Rockefeller Group spokesman declined to provide terms of the deal, but CoStar (CSGP) Group data shows average asking rents in the property range from $78 to $96 per square foot.

“This new retail location in a busy area of Manhattan gives us another unique way to market our players and team and help continue to grow the sport,” Tony Petitti, the deputy commissioner of business and media for MLB, said in a statement.

The shop will sell merchandise from all 30 MLB teams, historic franchises and game-used memorabilia along with “unique New York City products,” according to the MLB press release.

The 48-story 1271 Avenue of the Americas was built in 1959 and left vacant in 2016 when Time Inc. left for Brookfield Place. Soon after, the Rockefeller Group started a $600 million renovation of the property.

In 2016, MLB signed a 400,000-square-foot deal to move its headquarters to the 2.1-million-square-foot building, as Commercial Observer previously reported. It later gave back about 75,000-square-feet in the property, according to The Real Deal.

CBRE (CBRE)’s Scott Gottlieb, Ken Meyerson, Chris Corrinet, Brendan Herlihy and Daniel Wilpon represented MLB in its latest deal. Mary Ann Tighe, Howard Fiddle, John Maher, Dave Caperna, Evan Haskell and Sarah Pontius (who left CBRE for WeWork), also of CBRE, handled it for the landlord along with an in-house team of Ed Guiltinan and Jennifer Stein.

A spokeswoman for CBRE declined to comment.