Leases  ·  Retail

Streetwear Brand John Elliott Bests 4 Other Offers for SoHo Storefront


Los Angeles-based luxury streetwear brand John Elliott beat out four other offers to lock in a 4,900-square-foot SoHo corner storefront, its first retail space in the city, Commercial Observer has learned.

The former G-Star Raw space at 270 Lafayette Street, on the northeast corner of Prince Street, includes a 2,700-square-foot ground-floor storefront with a 2,000-square-foot storage basement and a 200-square-foot mezzanine. 

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“They will do something special with it,” said Richard Skulnik of RIPCO Real Estate, who represented the building owner, the Olnick Organization. “Everybody knows this corner.”

As a long-term deal, the new 10-year lease is another good sign for the neighborhood, as many pandemic retail leases have been for less than five years.

The company expects to open in SoHo around Labor Day to catch the fall holiday sales wave. John Elliott has one store in the Melrose District of L.A. and recently opened another in Miami’s Design District.

Skulnik said the retail space — which has column-free, 18-foot-high ceilings — was brought to the market early this year. The owners interviewed all five tenants before deciding that John Elliott was the right brand for the space, and signed the lease in April.

“They make incredible product — it’s not cheap,” Skulnik said of the staples that include distressed T-shirts for $128, tie-dye socks for $38 and white sneakers for $448.

John Elliott — which was founded in 2012 by Elliott and best friend Aaron Lavee — had been seeking a flagship location in the SoHo area pre-COVID. When the pandemic stalled all activity, it was able to open in Miami and then circled back to make it happen in New York. The brand declined to identify its broker or comment further on the new store.

“Having a flagship in New York will propel them,” Skulnik said. “And these quality spaces are getting leased in Manhattan.”

The four tenants who lost out on the space, including one that Skulnik represents, are now scouting other locations in the area.

Meanwhile, 270 Lafayette’s adjacent 900-square-foot space, previously occupied by Papyrus on the northwest corner of Crosby and Prince streets, was also recently leased by jewelry company Alexis Bittar, which was represented by Caleb Petersen of Newmark, who declined comment.

The jeweler bought back his namesake Brooklyn-based company in late 2020 through the Brooks Brothers bankruptcy reorganization. The company currently has a design studio in Industry City in Brooklyn.

Alexis Bittar is best known for bold, hand-carved Lucite bangles as well as delicate pieces that sparkle with semi-precious gems. The luxurious creations have been spotted on celebs including Bella Hadid and Billy Porter.

Area ground-floor asking rents are in the range of $200 to $300 per foot, depending on the size and location.