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145 Vacant Storefronts an Upper East Side ‘Epidemic,’ Study Finds

hal-shapiro-258x300An “epidemic” of empty storefronts is plaguing the neighborhood — with nearly 150 vacant retail spaces clogging First, Second and Third avenues, a survey by mayoral candidate Sal Albanese found.

Albanese, who is running for mayor for a fourth time as an independent, and a couple of volunteers for his campaign surveyed a 114-block section of the Upper East Side — from 57th to 95th streets, along First, Second and Third avenues — and discovered 145 vacant shops.

Over the past few years, several neighborhood staples and mom-and-pop shops have closed up — many due to too high rents — including Mimi’s Pizza, Mon Petit Café and a number of grocery stores.

“It’s an epidemic,” Albanese, a former city councilman from Brooklyn, said on Thursday. “We had a lot of feedback from people complaining about that in their neighborhoods the local shoe repair shop or pizzeria went out. Two of my volunteers got out to survey the area and what we came up with is pretty dramatic.”

Michael Eigen, owner of Premier Cru Wine Merchants on Madison Avenue at East 86th Street, said it’s getting harder to hang on.

“With rents this high, you can’t have a bad month because there’s no margin for error,” he said in a statement. “As rent continues to increase, it is simply too difficult for me to fight this fight anymore. I have been able to navigate New York small business for over 27 years but feel that, soon, I will no longer be able to continue because there is no seeming upside.”

The Small Business Congress estimates that the city is losing roughly 1,000 small businesses per month, taking with it an average number of eight employees per business and about 8,000 local jobs every month.

Hal Shapiro, senior director of Winick Realty, said that while landlords are partially to blame for upping rents, many storefronts remain empty after eight years of Second Avenue Subway construction. The neighborhood is still catching up after the subway line’s opening in January, he noted.

“It is a lot [of vacancies],” Shapiro said. “A lot of sidewalks were closed — there were obstructions on Second Avenue, and there was an increase in the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. It was very disruptive.”

He added that some landlords “priced themselves out,” but now they’re starting to “come back to reality and are more open to doing a deal,” noting that the landlords of four or five properties Shapiro works with in the area have gotten more reasonable.

“They’re becoming more creative, open and receptive to tenants’ needs and wants,” he said. “A lot of landlords want to make deals.”

For more, download the full article in PDF

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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services.  Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies.  Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.

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Nine Takeaways from ICSC New York Conference, Day One

17-tablesAttendees at this year’s ICSC New York’s National Deal-Making Conference tell us the mood on the floor is generally optimistic, and the buzz of businesses filling the halls of level one at Jacob Javits Center seemed to echo that.

“There’s definitely energy at the show. The election is over, people are cautiously optimistic about retail,” says Hal Shapiro, senior director at Winick Realty Group.

Here we present nine takeaways from interviews with industry professionals on the show floor.

  1. Deals are taking longer to close, as the decision-making for site selection is becoming a longer process, says Anjee Solanki, national director of U.S. retail services with Colliers International. Retailers are becoming more active in site selection and more selective in the types of store formats they want in specific markets. “Retailers are now asking to see the numbers,” Solanki says, adding “data is a must” in their strategy decisions.
  2. Rents undergo a market correction: The softening of rents across some retail property types shows “the market is correcting,” Solanki says. “Deals are still being done, especially if you have good co-tenancy and location, but you are no longer going to garner rents like seen at the peak.” For tenants with good financial standing, landlords are now willing to offer not only several months of free rent, but also help with build-out costs, Shapiro says.

For more, download the full article in PDF

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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services.  Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies.  Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.

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All aboard the Second Avenue Subway real estate boom

ues-cornerIt’s here. Almost. We hope.

After nearly a century of development, the MTA says that Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway will be up and running by the end of December — bringing the Q line to a quartet of stations from 63rd to 96th streets.

It’s optimistic, if belated, news from a city teasing the line’s promise since before the Great Depression.

But this time there’s a sense that an end is finally in sight.

For this reason, some brokers say, expect new retail east of Second Avenue to include kids’ services like martial arts studios and tutoring centers.

But while the retail scene is experiencing new gloss — Barry’s Bootcamp is now at 1216 Second Ave., for instance — an explosion of new stores has yet to occur.

“Retailers are having a hard time pulling the trigger until they see the [actual] effect of the subway,” says Hillel Spinner, founder of Spinner Equities.

But “the beginning of the end is near … and experienced retailers are definitely looking into the area,” notes Hal Shapiro, senior director at the Winick Realty Group.

For more, download the full article in PDF

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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services.  Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies.  Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.

New York Observer

ICSC: What Went Down at RECon 2016

hal-shapiro-258x300As real estate professionals and retailers from around the country catch their flights out of Las Vegas, having wrapped up another year of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon, Commercial Observer reflect on the annual conference.

We reported on a slew of new and potential deals: Ripped Fitness’ entrance into the Big Apple, Under Armour eyeing FAO Schwarz’s old space at 767 Fifth Avenue, Superdry‘s three-floor sublease of Esprit‘s 21-25 West 34th Street space and a new fast-casual concept by Philippe Chow. On Monday, we learned that Canada-based Saje Natural Wellness was planning to make a foray into New York City and Los Angeles, as company executives talked to brokers from RKF (see a roundup of day one tweets here).

Throughout our time there, we also heard more about how the market is shifting to favor tenants. Retail rents are softening and tenants have a bit more leverage when it comes to getting concessions in a new space.

“It’s a tenant’s market,” said Hal Shapiro of Winick Realty Group. “Landlords are having problems accepting that rents have not increased in keeping with inflation and the proportionate tax rate the tenant had to pay in their lease.”

His colleague, Kenneth Hochhauser, said deals are taking longer to do and economic fundamentals aren’t supporting the high asking rents in the market.

“In most of the elastic markets, there is a disconnect between asking and taking rents,” he said. “An equilibrium price is still to be found. That paralyzes retail leasing velocity.”

For more, download the full article in PDF

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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services.  Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies.  Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.

 

New York Observer

Ripped Fitness Opening Across the Street From an Equinox on the UES

1430 Second AvenueRye Brook, N.Y.-based gym Ripped Fitness will be entering the New York City market with its second-ever location, Commercial Observer learned at the ICSC conference in Las Vegas.

The high-intensity interval training experience, which focuses on burning fat, increasing your endurance and building lean muscle, will occupy 2,888 square feet on the ground floor at 1430 Second Avenue between East 74th and East 75th Streets, said Hal Shapiro of Winick Realty Group. He represented landlord Glenwood Management in the deal.

The lease, which is for space formerly occupied by a Capital One bank, is for 10 years and the asking rent was $140 per square foot, Mr. Shapiro said.

Mr. Shapiro said the fitness company thought it’d be a good location because it is across the street from an Equinox Fitness, at 1429 Second Avenue. Its other location is at the Rye Ridge Shopping Center in Westchester County.

Glenwood is preparing the Upper East Side space so that Ripped Fitness can take possession of it in a few weeks, according to Mr. Shapiro.

Ripco Real Estate‘s Andrew Mandell represented the tenant in the deal. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also known as The Fairmont, the 454,000-square-foot building has an alternate address of 300 East 75th Street. The 37-year-old property has 467 rental units that average 809 square feet per apartment, according to CoStar Group.

For more, download the full article in PDF

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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services.  Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies.  Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.

Real Estate Weekly

L’Oreal leases store, 9,000 s/f training space

404-5th-Avenue4-666x444International beauty brand L’Oreal signed a lease for a retail store and training facility at 404 Fifth Avenue, between 36th and 37th Streets, making them the latest brand-name retailer to locate themselves in this stretch of Fifth Avenue retail.

“The trend on Fifth Avenue has been moving southward as retailers who were once located in the 50s and 40s are recognizing that the stretch from 34th Street to 39th Street offers comparable visibility and foot traffic at a much greater value,” said Winick Realty Group’s Lee Block.

“At the same time, the traffic pattern from 34th Street is curving north as tourists continue up Fifth Avenue to visit Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center. 404 Fifth Avenue is optimally situated to benefit from both shopping corridors, and L’Oreal recognized the potential of this prime retail storefront.”

With this new long-term lease, L’Oreal is relocating from their existing store at 565 Fifth Avenue while maintaining the same footprint and exposure as they enjoyed in their previous location. L’Oreal is set to occupy a 1,000 s/f retail space on the ground floor, as well as a 9,000 s/f second floor that will serve as a training facility.

“Ownership is proud to welcome L’Oreal to the building and the neighborhood as they will bring new life to the space and add to the excitement in the area,” said Winick Realty Group’s Hal Shapiro, who, along with Block and Winick Realty Group CEO Jeff Winick, worked with Juda Chetrit and The Chetrit Group to secure the tenant, who was represented by CBRE’s Andrew Goldberg and Preston Cannon.

L’Oreal joins a growing roster of tenants who are benefitting from the proximity to tourist attractions like the Empire State Building, Macy’s Herald Square and Bryant Park, as well as the boutique hotels that are being built in the neighborhood.

Winick, Block and Shapiro are continuing to market the adjacent retail space at Juda Chetrit’s 404 Fifth Avenue.

This space features 6,000 s/f l directly next to L’Oreal’s entrance on the ground floor, as well as 3,500 s/f of usable lower level space.

For more, download the full article in PDF

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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services.  Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies.  Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.