The genie is long out of the bottle on the money-making potential of New York City’s white-hot retail market. But what better time to assess the state of the market than right after the sector’s crucial holiday shopping season? Plus, investors, brokers and retailers are just coming off the International Council of Shopping Centers’ New York National Conference, which The Real Deal live blogged from last month.
At the event, Michael O’Neill, a retail broker with Cushman & Wakefield, told TRD that retail brokers are being thrust into the spotlight, as the value of retail has become more of a driving factor in major office building acquisitions.
“Five years ago, retail was an afterthought,” he said. “It was where you put the services for the office tenants. Now retail has become the asset of choice for major institutional investors.”
This month, TRD looked at the players, firms and deals at the top of the New York City retail game.
First we looked at the tight-knit group of Syrian Jewish retail investors — including Jeff Sutton, Joe Sitt and Stanley Chera — who are making the most aggressive retail plays in Manhattan today. The interwoven community of investors, many of whom are related to each other and working on deals together, make headlines almost daily. But they each have different business models and geographic areas they specialize in when it comes to their retail investments. We examined those models and how much revenue each of their firms brings in annually.
Then we looked at the top retail brokerages in the city. While other brokerages in the city’s commercial sector have consolidated, it seems more and more companies are launching retail leasing divisions. Eastern Consolidated, which has been doing investment sales, just launched a retail division late last year. In addition, some firms, like Massey Knakal, which started a retail leasing arm a few years ago, have now cracked TRD’s ranking for the first time.
Next, we checked in with a project that is going to transform the West Side of Manhattan: Hudson Yards. The 26-acre mixed-used mega-development will include about 750,000 square feet of pricey retail space. The Related Companies, which is building the site, told TRD it will formally start construction and marketing on the retail space this month. In advance of that milestone, we looked at the kinds of tenants and rents Related is shooting for and its strategy for making that happen.
Finally, we examined the top 20 retail deals in Manhattan for 2013.
The biggest was H&M’s nearly 63,000-square-foot lease at the Herald Center at 34th Street and Sixth Avenue. The new store will be H&M’s largest in the city. Find out who else made the cut.