J. Crew considering Williamsburg shop, sources say

35K in prime space up for lease in coming months

TRD New York /
Jul.July 16, 2012 06:00 PM

The upscale clothier J.Crew is among the prospective tenants of a retail space coming online in Williamsburg, a source told The Real Deal, perhaps cementing that neighborhood’s shift over the last decade from bleak light industrial to hipster haven.

The 35,000 square feet of retail at 247 Bedford Avenue recently changed hands, for $66 million — with a partnership managed by Red Sky Capital buying a portfolio that includes the parcel.

The addition of J. Crew could fit well in the neighborhood, alongside another bastion of upmarket lifestyle — grocer Whole Foods, which is slated to open in 2014.

The address’ new owners have selected brokerage Lee & Associates NYC to lease the space, most of which will be up on the market in the next six to 18 months, according to Lee managing principal Peter Braus. Previously, the space was owned by Yehuda Backer, a major Williamsburg landlord who also recently sold the next-door site 242 Bedfird Avenue, where Whole Foods will grow, in conjunction with residential and other retail components.

The building sits between North 3rd and North 4th streets on Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue, a busy retail thoroughfare, and has asking rents between $185 and $200 per square foot, said Braus. The 13 retail spaces range from 1,000 to 6,000 square feet.

“There really isn’t anything else on Bedford that offers that much space,” Braus said. “Everything else is pretty tiny.”

Braus said he and his team of leasing agents — including Lee brokers Peter Levitan, Garry Steinberg and JP Sutro — are in talks with and interested in signing restaurants as well as fashion and home furnishings retailers. He added that they are also willing to re-sign tenants currently located at 247 Bedford, which include the bagel purveyor the Bagel Store and the health food shop Millennium Health. The Lee team is also open to moving some tenants to other spaces in the complex, such as off the avenue and onto less-trafficked storefronts on North 3rd and 4th streets.

The building will also be getting a facelift in the meantime, Braus said, though the amount Red Sky will spend on the renovations was not clear.

Reached by The Real Deal, a J. Crew spokeperson declined to comment.

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