Manhattan’s biggest commercial leases in 2021

400 West 219th Street (Google Maps)

As Manhattan’s residential market exploded in 2021, office and retail owners went through another year of uncertainty due to the pandemic.

While big box stores and luxury brands topped previous years’ rankings of the borough’s best commercial leases for area and rent, this year’s top tenants – charter schools, fitness chains and supermarkets – were a sign of the times.

While large retailers have reduced their physical presence in the city during the pandemic, the brokers who orchestrated the best deals say their customers were simply opportunistic.

“People who are out there are looking for great deals,” said Ross Eisenberg of RDE Advisors, who negotiated one of the deals on this list.

Let’s see who else had an expanding mindset this year:

1. Zeta Charter School | 400 West 219th Street | 124,000 square feet

In addition to its portfolio of four primary schools in the city, Zeta Charter School has signed a long-term lease to occupy 124,000 square feet in the Inwood building planned by Bolivar Development. A Transwestern team of Stephen Powers, Lindsay Ornstein and Thomas Hines represented the school.

“They really needed a purpose built space,” Ornstein said. Bolivar filed plans for an eight-story school building on the site last February. Zeta expects its new location, which will serve K-8 students, to open in time for the 2023-2024 school year.

2. Wegman | 770 Broadway | 82,000 square feet

The future of the old Astor Place Kmart has become a hot topic in the East Village after the retailer abruptly closed in July. A week later, owner Vornado Realty Trust teased that he had lined up a “first-class regional grocer” to take over the space. Wegmans signed an agreement with Kmart owner Transformco to buy out the 770 Broadway lease, then signed an agreement with Vornado which will cede its first Manhattan location, which is slated to open in 2023. RIPCO Real Estate represented Wegmans in the agreement.

3. International Academy of Hope | 825 Seventh Avenue | 76,861 square feet

Another school made the list with a 30-year lease for a commercial condo at 825 Seventh Avenue from Vornado Realty Trust. The school, which welcomes children with brain injuries, will occupy the second, third and fourth floors of the Midtown building. The new location allows nonprofit school operator YAI to triple its enrollments.

Matthew Astrachan, Simon Landmann and Zachary Azus of JLL represented the school, while Jeffrey Sussman of Edward J. Minskoff Equities and John Ryan III of Avison Young as well as Edward Riguardi of Vornado represented the owner.

One of the challenges in finding the right accommodation was that the doors to the school had to open on the right side of the street to allow bus access without crossing the street.

“It knocks out, give or take, almost half of the city,” Astrachan said. “It was a bit of a needle in the haystack.”

4. Chelsea Piers | 1 Madison Avenue | 55,780 square feet

Chelsea Piers signed a 20-year lease to open a 55,780-square-foot fitness center on parts of the ground floor, second and two basements of the 26-story One Madison Avenue development project and 1.4 million square feet of SL Green. This will be Chelsea Piers’ fourth location in the city and second in Manhattan. JLL’s Erin Grace and Matt Ogle represented the fitness center in the case. SL Green was represented internally.

“When we started working with Chelsea Piers… the message was very clear. It was, we want a phenomenal space, ”said Grace.

5. Pearl Studios | 500 Eighth Avenue | 46,000 square feet

After closing at the start of the pandemic, the rehearsal space that has hosted many Broadway productions is reopening in the Garment District. Pearl Studios signed a 10-year lease for the third and fourth floors of the building, which it previously occupied for over a decade before closing in March 2020. Steve Forest of Walter & Samuels represented the owner, a group investment led by company president David Berley in the transaction.

6. Public bath | 7 West 21st Street | 34,328 square feet

On entering into a lease for its first Manhattan location, the upscale Bathhouse spa will move to a converted parking garage at 7 West 21st Street, where it will occupy 3,565 square feet on the ground floor, 12,430 square feet below. -ground and 18,333 square feet in the basement. Jason Pruger and Lucas Kooyman of Newmark represented owners Friedland Properties and Rose Associates. Ross Eisenberg of RDE Advisors represented Bathhouse.

“Bathhouse isn’t a standard retail space, so it’s not like you find a big box,” Eisenberg said of the property conversion. “Wherever you go, it will take a lot of work. “

7. Trader Joe’s | 121 125th Street West | 28,000 square feet

Occupying the businesses on the ground floor of the planned headquarters of the National Urban League, Trader Joe’s is making Harlem the headquarters of its 13th location in New York. Together with Target, the supermarket will anchor the 17-story building, developed by a team that includes BRP, Dabar Development, L + M Development Partners, Taconic Partners and the Prusik Group, which will also have at least 170 low-income housing units. lodging.

8. Gucci | 446 14th Street West | 26,600 square feet

Although short-lived, Gucci signed a lease for a huge pop-up store in the Meatpacking District to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the luxury fashion house. Thor Equities owns the building.

9. Broadway Museum | 145 West 45th Street | 26,000 square feet

The Museum of Broadway has taken over this Times Square location, where it is slated to open this summer. The tenant will take over the cellar, part of the ground floor and all the second and third floors of the 12-story building. Owner Effy Hematian Realty was represented by Daniel Lolai of LSL Advisors, while the museum was represented by Amy Zhen of Cushman & Wakefield and Matthew Schuss of JLL.

10. Brooklyn Chophouse Times Square | 253 West 47th Street | 25,000 square feet

Taking over a space abandoned by Buffalo Wild Wings, Brooklyn Chophouse has reclaimed a prime property in Times Square, as well as a previously completed $ 15 million construction. The restaurant signed a 15-year lease. A Meridian Capital Group team of James Famularo and Yoni Hadar represented both owner Friedland Properties and Brooklyn Chophouse in the deal.

“Normally there would be 10 people arguing over this [space] and there would be a bidding war, but because it was Covid, we were really the only horse in the race, ”Famularo said.

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