German fashion firm lands in SoHo

Jill sander logo

German fashion firm lands in SoHo

German fashion house Jil Sander is joining SoHo’s growing international retail community.
The firm has signed a 10-year lease for 12,200 square feet at 30 Howard St., at the southern end of Crosby Street. It will operate a retail store in 3,050 square feet at ground level, a showroom on the second floor and offices on the third floor. The basement will serve as storage.

Jil Sander–owned by Change Capital Partners–leased the space from Putnam Rolling Ladder Co., a manufacturer that has called SoHo home for more than a decade. Before making the deal with Jil Sander, Putnam used the space to store wooden and aluminum stepladders.

Because the building needs extensive renovations to serve as a retail site, the store won’t open until September at the earliest. The asking rent was about $125 per square foot on the ground floor.

“They were very selective about this,” says David Barreto, the Cast Iron Real Estate broker who negotiated the deal on behalf of Putnam. “Jil Sander is a destination.”

Marc Simons of Isaacs & Co. represented Jil Sander. Other international retailers in SoHo include Uniqlo and Evisu from Japan and Tous from Spain.

–Elisabeth Butler Cordova

Firm locks in longer lease

Royal Health Care has renewed its lease and expanded in midtown. The company, which provides claims processing and health insurance transaction systems to clients, has leased 22,000 square feet, or the entire third floor, at 521 Fifth Ave. The asking rent at the 40-story building, at the corner of East 43rd Street, is $70 a square foot.

The Manhattan-based company, which has offices in Charlotte, N.C., and Albuquerque, N.M., signed a 10-year lease for 20,500 square feet in 1999. Its new lease runs through 2015.

“We decided it was prudent to renew early because the building is undergoing a major renovation and rents will continue to climb even higher once the renovation is complete,” says Harry Blair, the broker at GVA Williams who represented the tenant. The building is undergoing a $25 million makeover set to be completed by December.

Last year, landlord SL Green Realty Corp., which represented itself in the transaction, entered into a long-term lease at 521 Fifth Ave. It later recapitalized the property, selling 49.9% of its ownership stake to the City Investment Fund for $240 million. It continues to oversee management and leasing at the building.

–Julie Satow

Shoe stores pull flip-flop

Italian shoemaker Geox is planning to open a Union Square outpost at 862 Broadway, between East 17th and East 18th streets.

Geox signed a 10-year lease for the 2,700-square-foot store, which will be its fourth in the city. The company opened its first U.S. shop three years ago and aims to make America its top market by 2010.

“Union Square has all the ingredients of a fantastic commercial location,” says Mario Moretti Polegato, Geox’s founder.

Geox negotiated the deal in-house. Retail veteran David Zaken owns the building and represented himself in the deal. The asking rent was about $300 per square foot for the ground floor.

Mr. Zaken operated a David Z. shoe store at the site until June; he will relocate it this fall to 13 St. Marks Place, between Second and Third avenues. Mr. Zaken signed a 15-year deal for 2,100 square feet, and the store is slated to open in September.

Mr. Zaken chose to reopen his chain’s 10th store in the East Village because “the kids down there are beyond cool, and they have some change in their pockets.”

Gioia Equities Inc. owns the St. Marks Place building. Both tenant and owner negotiated on their own behalf.

The asking rent was $150 per square foot for the 1,700-square-foot ground floor.


July 15, 2007

By: Crain’s New York Business

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