Leases  ·  Retail

Portugal to Bring Times Square Its First Sardine Experience

Times Square visitors will get an unexpected mix of sweet and savory in the coming weeks.

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M&M’s World and Krispy Kreme will find a strange bedfellow indeed, with the addition of a store dedicated to selling canned Portuguese sardines at 2 Times Square, Commercial Observer has learned.

As fishy as it sounds, Comur Corporation signed a lease in the tourism corridor where out-of-towners are notoriously packed like, well, sardines. The Sherwood Equities-owned property will be The Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardines first U.S. store, according to tenant broker Newmark (NMRK).

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Sherwood did not disclose the asking rent, but said the tenant signed a 10-year deal and that the store will span 1,010 square feet.

“Understanding the nature of the tenant’s business concept, we immediately identified 2 Times Square as a prime location for its first U.S. retail presence,” Newmark’s Gabriel Staab, who represented the tenant alongside Ariel Schuster and Ross Berkowitz, said in a statement. “International businesses have demonstrated a strong track record in Times Square, which has resulted in momentum for lease size and demand within the submarket — a great indication for the area’s overall stability.”

Sherwood’s Fred Rosenberg said that the offering was admittedly niche, but contested that these are not your everyday sardines. Known on the Iberian Peninsula as Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa, the brand offers the “queen of all fish” in a variety of flavors, from smoked to spicy with some cans prepared as they were as far back as 1927, according to its website.

The Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardines is a growing empire, and the brand sees the Times Square location as the perfect opportunity to get the word out about Portugal’s national icon.

“The more we investigated the company and what their plans were, the more we felt that it was viable and a good addition to Times Square,” Rosenberg told CO. “I had those sardines the last time I was in Portugal; it’s an outstanding product.” 

“Times Square is not just tourists,” Rosenberg added. “There’s a huge amount of office tenants there also. So I think that it will appeal to tourists and New Yorkers as well. [But] definitely it was not your standard souvenir or ice cream shop.”

The Portuguese canned fish purveyor will be planting its flag in Times Square within the next two to three weeks, Rosenberg said.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.