Trendy boot and clothing manufacturer Timberland signed a lease last week to open a store on West 34th Street off Herald Square, on the same block where Japanese apparel giant Uniqlo has been eying space for a new location.
The company known for its rugged footwear inked the 10-year lease for 2,400 square feet of ground floor space (and 2,000 square feet of non-retail cellar space) at 28 West 34th Street Feb. 11, brokers who worked on the deal said. The space was formerly occupied by Prato Fine Men’s Wear.
The strip between Fifth and Sixth avenues is popular with mass-market apparel stores such as the Gap, Banana Republic and Desigual, and shoe retailers such as Dr. Jay’s, Aerosoles and Steve Madden. Demand is fed by commuters from Penn Station, shoppers at Macy’s and tourists ogling the Empire State Building.
Jason Pruger, an executive managing director at Newmark Knight Frank Retail, said the asking rent for the ground-floor space was $450 per square foot, and the taking rent “was close to the ask.” He and Kenji Ota, an associate at Newmark, represented the landlord, the estate of Sol Goldman.
“The reason they want to be on 34th Street is like every other shoe retailer,” Pruger said. “High exposure, great traffic, seven-day-a-week [activity]. A lot of shoe stores do their highest volume on the block.”
PBS Real Estate brokers Laura Pomerantz, a principal, and Betty Ende, a senior managing director, represented Timberland.
The deal is part of a continued transformation of the street in recent years, with new leases by Desigual, Who A.U and others, Pomerantz said.
In addition, “Uniqlo is working on the street. So it is a pretty amazing transition,” she said.
However, retail prices on the south side of the street are about $50 or $100 per foot cheaper than the north side, some brokers said. The new store is on the south side of the block.
“I like to see deals on the south side of the street, it gives validation to the [block],” Karen Bellantoni, executive vice president at Robert K. Futterman & Associates, said. She was not involved in the deal.
The New Hampshire-based shoe company currently has one store in Manhattan, at 474 Broadway in Soho. The retailer did not return a call for comment.