Mixed-use project takes shape at 72nd St. and Broadway

By James Kelly | January 10, 2008 02:01PM

Vertical retail projects might not be too common in Manhattan. But the base of the Time Warner Center and 101 Warren Street enjoyed strong preconstruction leasing, and now the Gotham Organization is building 48,000 square feet of retail on five floors of a mixed-use development at 72nd Street and Broadway.

Gotham’s 19-story mixed-use project, which is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, will have 196 luxury rental apartments. Construction on the Handel Architects-designed tower is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. Leasing for the apartments is slated to begin sometime next year.

The development’s stores will benefit from its location across the street from one of the most heavily traveled subway hubs, with an annual ridership of 11.2 million. The area is already a magnet for shoppers, and it’s growing: stores that are new or planned include Club Monaco, Sephora, Loehmann’s and First Republic bank.

David Picket, president of the Gotham Organization, said two aspects of the building’s structural details lend themselves to retail visibility: its wide angle and uninterrupted glass walls.

“It’s a highly visible corner because of the nature of the geometry,” he said of its spot on the intersection’s southwest corner. “It’s not a right angle; it’s an obtuse angle, which allows for greater visibility.”

The 22-foot-tall ground-floor will be all glass with no support elements that usually bisect windows.

Residential units will range from about 500-square-foot studios to over 1,600-square-foot three-bedrooms. Amenities for residents will include a gym, lounge, children’s play-space, two outdoor decks and concierge service.

Gotham is “pretty close” to a deal with three prospective tenants for the retail space, which includes a ground-floor, mezzanine, second floor and two lower levels. Robert K. Futterman & Associates is the exclusive leasing agent for the spaces.

Picket did not disclose names of retailers, but he said that one tenant would take about 800 square feet on the ground level, while a second would take about 20,000 square feet starting on the ground and going up. The third would take 20,000 square feet starting on the ground floor and going down.

Prices for the retail space range from $100 per square foot for the sub-lower level and the mezzanine to $550 per square foot for the ground-floor space.

With a fraction of the retail space in big projects like Time Warner Center and 101 Warren Street, Picket said his development is being built on a much smaller scale.

“It’s not rocket science; it’s not the Time Warner Center,” Picket says. “It’s a residential project sitting on 48,000 square feet of retail.”