The Real Deal New York

Saks surprises with big lease at Cohen’s 135 East 57th

Off-price retail brand taking 56K sf at the Midtown tower
November 18, 2015 08:43AM

Has Charles Cohen’s patience finally paid off?

After rejecting several previous suitors, the developer inked a lease with Saks OFF 5th, the lower-priced version of Saks Fifth Avenue, for 56,000 square feet at 135 East 57th Street in Midtown.

The clothing shop will occupy three levels, with about 2,000 square feet of frontage.

Asking rent for the space, largely empty since 2009, was $120 per square foot, the New York Post reported.

The lease could also boost Harry Macklowe’s retail prospects at Nearby 432 Park Avenue, which, at 70,000 square feet, still remains without a tenant.

Cohen — who bought the building in 1997 and also owns neighboring 465 Park Avenue — had reportedly rejected offers from sporting goods store Orvis and clothier Brooks Brothers, in the hopes of finding a trendier retailer. Downmarket clothier Daffy’s once held space in the 31-story office tower.

Cohen’s brokers on the deal with Saks were Cushman & Wakefield’s Brad Mendelsen and Alan Schmerzler.

The 16-year lease largely came as a surprise — despite a lengthy New York Times interview with Saks Fifth Avenue president Marc Metrick on Sunday, news didn’t break until Monday.

Another Saks OFF 5th will be opening at Brookfield’s One Liberty Plaza in 2017.  [NYP]Ariel Stulberg