West 24th St. could get new kind of tenant

By Jovana Rizzo | January 30, 2009 01:38PM

For the past 18 years, 27 West 24th Street has been serving up drinks to crowds of New Yorkers as a nightclub, but after a recent eviction, the space might take on a new life.

The nightclub Eugene’s, run by Eugene Denino, has been at 27 West 24th Street since 2000, but was evicted earlier this month when Denino defaulted on the lease. Prior to being Eugene’s, the 17,000-square-foot, duplex space was the nightclub Bacchus, which opened in 1991.
The property, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, hit the market this week with an asking rent of $65,000 per month, and Robert Frischman, founder and president of JDF Realty, which has the exclusive listing, said the landlord, JH Management, is looking for a different type of tenant.

The space has been a nightclub for many years, has a public assembly permit and is a legal cabaret. But especially during an economic downturn, clubs and restaurants can be unstable tenants, so the landlord is looking to change the use of the property and turn it into medical offices or bring in a retailer.

“We’re open to a variety of uses, but not really looking for a nightclub,” said William Cummings, executive vice president of JH Management. “We’re looking at a whole gamut of alternate uses, and would consider a top restaurant, retail, medical, professional and possibly educational [tenants]. One school has approached us, but right now it’s too early to tell.”

A few other spaces on the block have also recently emptied out. Actor Chris Noth’s Cutting Room, at 19 West 24th Street, closed on January 13 because of a rent increase. And the Cipriani Organization is leaving 200 Fifth Avenue, off of 24th Street, at the end of the month.

Although all of these spaces on the block might be coming onto the market at the same time, both Frischman and Cummings were not concerned that prospective tenants would be more interested in the other properties.

“We’re much bigger than the Cutting Room, probably five times the size,” Frischman said, adding that because they are different spaces, they will attract different tenants.

The former Cipriani space has a similar size and use to the Eugene’s space, Cummings said, but will probably remain a catering facility.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll have some great prospects showing up,” Cummings said. “I want to bring in somebody who has some sort of real value to add to the neighborhood.”