Office supply retailer Staples signed a 17,500-square-foot lease in the HSBC building owned by Midtown Equities and the Israel-based IDB Group, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 39th Street.
The retailer took 6,000 square feet of ground-floor space and 11,500 square feet of mezzanine space, in the lease at 442 Fifth Avenue that was signed during the first week in February, a source familiar with the deal said.
The landlord had been asking $2.2 million for the entire space, or about $125 per square foot blended, the source said.
Midtown Equities and IDB Group bought the building in 2009 for $330 million.
The building was represented by David LaPierre, executive vice president at CB Richard Ellis, while Staples was represented by Chase Welles, executive vice president of Northwest Atlantic Real Estate Services. Neither the property owners nor the brokers responded to requests for comment.
The mundane nature of the new tenant highlighted the contrast between the stretch of Fifth Avenue north of 42nd Street — which has been popular with high-fashion tenants — and the stretch south which remains home to lower-profile companies.
“As nice as 42nd to 49th Street is, south of 42nd Street you don’t see it taking hold yet,” one veteran retail broker said. He added that with the opening of the Setai Fifth Avenue at 400 Fifth Avenue between 37th and 38th streets, which has received positive reviews, the retail stretch might improve.