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Category ArchiveChristopher Owles

Lamy Writing Instruments Brand Opening First Store in North America, in Soho

Germany-based fine writing instruments company Lamy is establishing a U.S. flagship—its first store in North America—in Soho, Commercial Observer has learned.

Lamy signed a 10-year lease at 452 West Broadway between Prince and West Houston Streets last Friday, for the entire three-level 2,000-square-foot building, Thor Equities executives said. The asking rent for the ground floor was $700 per square foot.

Thor’s building, with 30-foot high glass frontage overlooking West Broadway, was leased to Switzerland-based skincare brand Hormeta until December 2016 followed by another beauty products brand, Glow Recipe, as a pop-up. Now men’s dress shirt company Mizzen+Main is in the space temporarily until early January 2018, a Thor spokesman said. Lamy will open in spring 2018.

Joanne Podell and Aylin Gucalp of Cushman & Wakefield represented Lamy in the deal and Christopher Owles and Margie Sarway of Sinvin represented Thor.

Podell advised this reporter to “check out the tenant” because it sells “amazing pens.” In fact, she said, she is using one.

Owles said: “Soho has long been the heart of New York’s art and design industry so it is fitting that a company with more than 50 years experience in product design has selected such an architecturally notable building in this neighborhood for its U.S. flagship store.”

Thor acquired the property in December 2013 for $6 million, property records indicate.

Source: commercial

E-Commerce Luggage Brand Away Travel Opening First Permanent Store at 10 Bond Street

Source: commercial

Bertwood Realty Closes Shop in NYC, Owner Moves Back to Native France

Bertrand de Soultrait, the president of Bertwood Realty, has closed the brokerage’s New York City office at 146 East 46th Street and moved across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris after three years, Commercial Observer has learned.

De Soultrait, 32, relocated to Paris three weeks ago and intends to focus on acquisitions of properties in Europe from his native France through the same company name. Bertwood Realty will represent retailers in Paris on the brokerage side as well.

He had actually opened the Paris office last year and had been acquiring properties in France for a few years before committing to the move. Currently, de Soultrait said his company has a portfolio of 12 properties in France, 10 of which are residential buildings, and one that is a hotel and restaurant, and one retail condominium unit. In France he has just two staff employees, but no brokers.

“I’ve been wanted to move back to Europe for a few years. I took my time and worked as hard as I could,” de Soultrait told CO. “A new president was elected in France. And I have a lot of hope in him [for tax reform].”

Also, de Soultrait said the struggling New York City retail market marked a good time for him to leave retail brokerage here.

“The market in New York for retail is becoming very scary,” he said. “I’m not sure what will happen in retail in the next two years. It’s very challenging.”

De Soultrait worked for seven years as a broker in the United States, closing nearly 100 transactions, he said. That included two years at NYCRS and then two years at SCG Retail before he started Bertwood Realty in 2014, focusing on European retailers looking for space in the U.S. Bertwood Realty had three sales associates, one associate broker and one administrator in New York City, none of whom followed him to Europe.

Three of his latest deals last month were representing French retailers, including art gallery Carré d’Artistes in 1,200 square feet at 44 Prince Street between Mulberry and Mott Streets; eyewear store Anne et Valentin in a 600-square-foot spot at 1186 Madison Avenue between East 86th and East 87th Streets and female sportswear company Lilith in 1,000 square feet at 4 Prince Street between Elizabeth Street and the Bowery.  

Before closing the New York City office, de Soultrait established a partnership with Sinvin Real Estate so that some of Bertwood Realty’s clients in the United States can continue to receive services.

“Having known Bertrand for the past few years and developed a great respect for his business acumen and connections I’m excited for Sinvin to grow its relationship with Bertwood,” Christopher Owles, a principal at Sinvin, said in prepared remarks. “We are proud to be assisting his European clients in the U.S. and look forward to his assistance in securing international locations for our clients.”

With additional reporting provided by Lauren Elkies Schram.

Source: commercial