Jean-Georges’ Spice Market will leave Meatpacking location amid retail repositioning

Midtown Equities seeks "experiential" tenant
By Katherine Clarke | May 23, 2016 07:30AM

Updated at 12.39 p.m. May 23: Jean-Georges’ Southeast Asian-inspired eatery Spice Market is heading out of the Meatpacking District.

Both Spice Market and its neighbor, furniture store Vitra, are leaving their 14th Street home once their leases expire next year, David Beare, director of leasing at landlord Midtown Equities, told The Real Deal.

Midtown Equities, run by Joseph Cayre, hopes to reposition the building’s roughly 30,000-square-foot retail space for one major tenant seeking an experiential-style flagship, along the lines of Samsung’s 837 Washington Street. Asking rents for the space are around $700 a foot on the ground level, Beare said.

The company has owned the whole building at 29 Ninth Avenue since last year, when it bought out its partner, California billionaire Ron Burkle, for $67 million. The upper floors are home to the members-only social club Soho House.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Spice Market said news that the restaurant was leaving the space “premature.”

“No decision has been made yet, but we look forward to continuing those discussions and announcing our plans,” he said, noting the restaurant’s lease provides for a 5-year renewal clause in mid-2017.

“The Meatpacking District is becoming the destination for experiential retail,” Beare said, noting Starbucks is also opening a 20,000-square-foot roastery concept at nearby 61 Ninth Avenue. “Those kinds of retailers want huge space.”

Beare declined to comment on ongoing negotiations with prospective tenants.

Spice Market has been at the location since 2004. It wasn’t clear if it’s already found a new location.