Wireless provider inks first of pl

By Adam Pincus | June 09, 2010 11:30AM

865 Broadway (source: PropertyShark)

A growing wireless data provider planning to open dozens of small retail locations in New York City over the next year signed its first lease in the city near Union Square, a broker representing the company said.

Clearwire Communications, based in Kirkland, Wash., in May signed its first lease for 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail at 865 Broadway between 17th and 18th streets, David Firestein, president of White Plains-based Northwest Atlantic Real Estate Services, said. The location is expected to open this fall.

The telecommunications firm is in negotiations with other landlords in neighborhoods such as the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, Midtown, Grand Central and near Penn Station for locations in the 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot range, Firestein said.

Clearwire expects to open a couple dozen stores over the next year in the city, with about half in Manhattan and half in the outer boroughs, Firestein said. He compared the push to T-Mobile and AT&T retail expansions in recent years.

“It is a pretty aggressive roll out. I have done roll outs for lots of companies, but that is pretty aggressive,” he said. He is targeting corners, primarily.

The firm supplies wireless broadband services for retail and corporate customers. It currently operates in 34 major markets, including Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, the company said.

The asking rent for the space was not provided, but asking rents on nearby Fifth Avenue between 14th and 23rd streets were between $200 and $400 per square foot, the Real Estate Board of New York reported in May.

Clearwire tapped Northwest Atlantic about six months ago because of the brokerage’s existing relationships with other companies based in Washington state, such as Starbucks and Costco, which it represents in New York, Firestein said.

Clearwire was represented by Jacqueline Klinger, vice president of Northwest Atlantic while the landlord Jaisi Realty was represented by Benjamin Fox, president of retail brokerage Winick Realty Group.

Geza DeGall, vice president of real estate for Clearwire, said in a statement that the company was pleased with its recent launch in Philadelphia and, “We anticipate bigger and better from New York.”