Express formally inks deal for Times Square space

By David Jones | July 24, 2012 01:00PM

It’s official: the fashion retailer Express Inc. is headed to Times Square. SL Green Realty Corp., together with Jeff Sutton, formally announced Monday that Express had signed a 15-year lease for a 30,000 flagship store at 1552-1560 Broadway, at 46th Street.

Back in May 2011, SL Green and venture partner Jeff Sutton purchased the building that will house the store for $136.5M from the Reise Organization, and vowed to replace prior tenant TGI Friday’s in a new, repositioned retail space.

Express Inc. is scheduled to move into the space in the fall of 2013, and will occupy three floors, including 206 feet of corner sidewalk space. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However the transaction has been valued at $23 million on an annual basis.

Retail rents in the so-called bow tie of Times Square averaged more than $1,967 a square foot in the first quarter, a 28 percent increase from a year ago, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

As the Wall Street Journal previously reported, SL Green and Sutton were able to convince Express Inc. to ditch previous plans to lease part of the Durst Organization’s 45,000-square-foot former ESPN Zone location at 4 Times Square in favor of this new space. “Deals take a long time to happen,” an executive familiar with the talks told The Real Deal. “Sometimes the door opens open up for other things to happen and smart people notice that things don’t get signed within a certain time frame.”

H&M is reportedly in talks to take over the former ESPN Zone space. Amira Yunis and Gary Trock of CB Richard Ellis have been tapped to take over marketing of that location.

Manhattan-based SL Green is the largest commercial landlord in New York, with more than 79 properties in its portfolio covering more than 39 million square feet of space.