The Real Deal New York

Blu partners with cafe for new Riverside Boulevard office

September 12, 2011 06:11PM
By Adam Fusfeld

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Alon Chadad, co-founder of Blu Realty Group, and the site of Blu’s Lincoln Square offices at 120 Riverside Boulevard
Visitors won’t necessarily be looking to buy, rent or sell an apartment when they step into Blu Realty Group’s forthcoming Upper West Side office. They may just be in the mood for a cup of coffee.

The residential brokerage partnered with Tavalon Tea to bring what it believes is the first real estate office and coffee bar concept to Manhattan, the brokerage and drink purveyor both confirmed. The cafe will be called Blu Cafe by Tavalon Tea and will comprise about 500 square feet of Blu’s approximately 1,600-square-foot space, according to Blu Realty Group (note: correction appended). The cafe and office will have the same entrance with only a glass wall separating them.

As The Real Deal previously reported, the new offices, are opening at 120 Riverside Boulevard, at the corner of West 66th Street, on the ground floor of Trump Place 120.

“We wanted to do this for the neighborhood,” said Alon Chadad, co-founder of Blu said. “There’s no place nearby for the neighborhood to sit down, have coffee and enjoy Wi-Fi — it really needs it.” 

The nearest Starbucks is 0.4 miles away at 2045 Broadway near 72nd Street, and another one is 0.5 miles away at 152 Columbus Avenue near 66th Street, according to Google Maps.

Tavalon previously had a retail location near Union Square that opened in 2006, but it  has since shuttered. The company still provides tea to many hotels, restaurants and bars, including Fairway, Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria and Setai Hotel Fifth Avenue. Tavalon CEO John-Paul Lee said the coffee and tea shop coveted this location, and agreed with Chadad’s assessment that the area is under-served when it comes to coffee and tea — especially considering its demographics.

Blu, which also has offices at 1674 Broadway, near 52nd Street, decided on the Lincoln Square location for its proximity to the new developments that line the Hudson River in the West 60s, where Blu agents have conducted a lot of business.

“In the traditional sense, no one would go to a real estate office unless they are seriously looking at buying or renting an apartment,” Lee said. “But this will give them reason to go, and return, two or three times a day without feeling any pressure to buy.”

Blu hopes to open the doors to its new office in late October, Chadad said.

Neither Blu nor Tavalon would detail the logistics of the lease. Extell Development and the Carlyle Group, joint owners of the development, were not immediately available for comment.

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