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Category Archive1535 Broadway

Levi’s Zips Up New Times Square Space

Levi’s is moving its Times Square store a block and a half north up Broadway, according to an investor presentation from Vornado Realty Trust.

The denim company will occupy 17,250 square feet on the lower level and ground floor of the Vornado’s Marriott Marquis at 1535 Broadway, between West 45th and West 46th Streets, according to information from CoStar Group. The store is expected to open at the end of 2018, The New York Post reported. The length of the lease and asking rent weren’t disclosed.

Levi’s currently occupies 600 square feet on the first floor of the Paramount Building at 1501 Broadway, between West 43rd and West 44th Streets, according CoStar.

Laura Pomerantz of Cushman & Wakefield repped Levi’s in the transaction, and a spokesman for the brokerage didn’t return a request for comment. A Vornado spokesman declined to say who was involved in the lease, but the in-house leasing team for the building consists of Edward Hogan, Jason Morrison and Michael Worthman.

Laline and T-Mobile already occupy retail space in the building and Sephora has also leased space there.


Source: commercial

Vornado Talks Up Moynihan Train Hall for Amazon HQ2

Vornado Realty Trust’s redevelopment of the James A. Farley Post Office Building into the new Moynihan Train Hall is “front and center” in New York City’s bid to house Amazon’s new HQ2 headquarters, Vornado said on its third-quarter earnings call today.

Vornado, which is redeveloping the former post office building with partners Related Companies and Skanska, cited the project’s 730,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of retail offerings as key facets of its pitch to host Amazon—which has sent municipalities across the country into a sweepstakes to host the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s second headquarters complex.

Steven Roth, Vornado’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the company was “pleased” to see Manhattan’s West Side included in the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s proposal to Amazon as one of four city neighborhoods that could accommodate HQ2 (the other three being Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City), with the city touting the area’s robust transit offerings and ample office space in the Hudson Yards, Penn Plaza and Midtown West areas.

Roth noted that Moynihan Train Hall would be able to meet Amazon’s “near-term needs” for roughly 500,000 square feet of office space—though whether it would be able to provide that space by next year, as indicated by Amazon, is uncertain given the Moynihan project’s 2020 targeted completion date. (Amazon will eventually require up to 8 million square feet of office space for HQ2.)

But Roth and other Vornado executives noted that the project’s large, 250,000-square-foot office floor plates would be “extraordinarily attractive” to a company used to the sprawling, campus-like headquarters occupied by many major West Coast-based tech conglomerates.

They noted how Vornado’s senior management team visited Silicon Valley this past summer “to understand the nature of what these campuses are”—citing Facebook’s Frank Gehry-designed, roughly 10-acre headquarters as a “one-story building [with a] 450,000-square-foot footprint,” as well as the 820,000-square-foot floor plates at Apple’s headquarters. Both facilities also feature sizable outdoor, park-like amenities.

Moynihan Train Hall, they said on the call, is “truly unique” in its “ability to deliver a horizontal campus in New York, with great roof deck space in the heart of the city with views all around.”

But Roth added that regardless of “whether New York wins the HQ2 race or not, Amazon will have a long-term significant presence” in the West Side “for years to come,” with the company having committed to large blocks of space at Vornado’s 7 West 34th Street as well as Brookfield Property Partners’ Manhattan West development.

On a broader scale, Vornado reported a bullish outlook for its core New York City office and retail assets. It cited more than 450,000 square feet of office leases across 33 separate transactions signed at “record-breaking” average starting rents of $83 per square foot, as well as 97 percent occupancy across its city office portfolio.

Roth described demand for New York City office space as “robust” and coming from a diverse cross-section of industries. David Greenbaum, the real estate investment trust’s New York division president, noted that office-using employment in the city remains strong and will be able to “absorb the new supply coming online in the next five years,” with the financial services sector having “finally reached its pre-financial crisis level” of employment in the third quarter.

Greenbaum said Vornado has a “negligible amount” of office lease expirations planned over the remainder of the year, with the REIT’s 1 Penn Plaza comprising “over a third of our lease expirations over the next two years.” The company is currently “finalizing our plans” for an ambitious repositioning of the office tower, which Greenbaum said is expected to commence next summer.

Roth also discussed 666 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, which Vornado co-owns with Kushner Companies and which has drawn much attention this year due to the property’s uncertain financial future (as well as its ties to former Kushner Companies head and now-Trump administration senior adviser Jared Kushner).

The building, while located on a “very attractive piece of real estate,” is “over-leveraged,” Roth said, acknowledging rumors “about tearing the building down and doing all manner of fairly grand development schemes.” But he labeled such ambitious plans as likely “not feasible,” adding that the property will probably remain in its current state as an office building via capital improvement plans that he described as “a work in process.”

Vornado also leased around 38,000 square feet of retail space across its Manhattan portfolio in the third quarter, with the most notable deal being Sephora’s 16,000-square-foot relocation to 1535 Broadway in Times Square. Greenbaum said the company is also in talks “for another flagship lease, with a major national retailer, for the remaining 12,000 square feet” of retail space at the property’s base.

“Our upper Fifth Avenue and Times Square [retail] assets are buttoned up for term with great credit tenants,” Roth said, noting that the company has only one lease expiry in its Manhattan high street retail portfolio coming in the next five years—fashion retailer Massimo Dutti’s location at 689 Fifth Avenue, which is due to expire in 2019 “at below market rent.”

Vornado has also identified roughly $1 billion in assets that it plans to sell in the coming years, excluding residential condominium sales at its 220 Central Park South tower in Midtown, Roth said.

The 75-year-old Roth also acknowledged that he had heart bypass surgery in August—a procedure that raised questions about the publicly traded company’s future leadership and succession plan.

But the Vornado head attempted to dispel concerns about his health and the company’s leadership, saying that he is “now better than new, and back to work.”


Source: commercial

Retail Leasing Vet Howard Gilbert Heads to ABS, Says NKF ‘Wasn’t for Me’

Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Howard Gilbert, a 37-year retail leasing veteran who first brought Forever 21 to Manhattan, has joined ABS Partners Real Estate as an executive managing director, Commercial Observer has learned.

Gilbert, who officially started on July 31, is focusing on retail leasing on both the landlord and tenant sides and oversees a staff of four brokers that makeup the retail division at the company. He said he left NKF after less than three years because “it wasn’t for me.”

He further explained: “You really need to be on a team to be successful over there with a real strong leadership. I worked with a couple of retail brokers on assignments [at NKF], but it’s not the same as being the team. If you aren’t on the top of the totem pole, it’s hard to do business. I can work with the principals [at ABS], which is what I wanted.”

Gilbert, 65, started working at NKF in fall 2014, as CO previously reported. Prior to that he handled retail deals at RKF for nearly two decades. And before that he worked at Garrick-Aug, Wm. A White/Tishman East, and Cushman & Wakefield for a few years each.

Last month he represented a high-end Japanese restaurant in a 10,000-square-foot lease at Rockefeller Center. (He said he could not contractually release the name of the tenant, landlord or building.)

In October 2016, he handled a 6,000-square-feet deal for a Uniqlo pop-up at 1535 Broadway between West 45th and West 46th Streets in Times Square.

Older deals include working with Bank of America to open about two dozen branches and a dozen ATM locations in Manhattan between 2005 and 2010. He was also responsible for bringing Forever 21’s first store into Manhattan at 40 East 14th Street between Broadway and University Place in Union Square in the mid-2000s. And Gilbert handled the apparel company’s Times Square flagship at 1540 Broadway between West 45th and West 46th Street in 2008.

“Howard’s years of expertise and knowledge will not only help to grow our direct business, but will also attract and mentor younger brokers that want to immerse themselves in this industry,” Gregg Schenker, the president and co-managing partner at ABS Partners, said in a statement.

A native of Brooklyn, Gilbert grew up in the Flatbush section of the borough. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973. He currently lives in Stamford, Conn. with his wife of 30 years and their 25-year-old son.

A spokesman for NKF did not immediately return a request for comment about Gilbert’s departure.


Source: commercial