NYX Cosmetics inks first Manhattan lease in Union Square

Youth-focused chain joins MAC, Sephora, Bluemercury and Fresh in neighborhood
By Adam Pincus | May 24, 2016 02:30PM

Beauty brand NYX Cosmetics signed a lease for a new store on Union Square West, a space formerly occupied by a Starbucks outpost, several people familiar with the transaction told The Real Deal.

The 2,800-square-foot space is on the ground floor of Brause Realty’s 75,000-square-foot commercial building at 41 Union Square West, at the corner of East 17th Street. The lease was signed earlier this month.

The California-based brand, which was acquired in 2014 by Paris-based L’Oreal, has two upcoming stores in New York City — one set to open later this month at Brooklyn’s Kings Plaza, and the other slated to open July 1 at Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst.

The youth-focused chain chose a location close to New York University and nestled among a concentration of cosmetics stores ringing Union Square, including Fresh, Bluemercury and Sephora, each within a block of the new location. On the south side of Union Square, Estee Lauder’s MAC inked a lease at the Feil Organization’s 853 Broadway two years ago.

The total asking rent was about $1.6 million per year. On a per-square-foot basis, the ask was about $600, sources said.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeffrey Roseman, who represented Brause on the deal, said other types of retailers were eying the spot, including burger restaurant Shake Shack and coffee purveyor Nespresso.

Karen Bellantoni and Robin Sande, both of RKF, represented NYX. Bellantoni declined to comment, while NYX did not respond to a request for comment.

Tech firms have a large and growing presence in the Union Square area, and their workforce is skewed to younger people. That’s in addition to students from NYU and the New School, located nearby. Those people, said David Brause, of Brause Realty, are focused on looking and feeling good. He noted the huge number of gyms, yoga studios and healthy eating options surrounding the square.

He said a youth-focused beauty brand fits in with that trend.

“There are lots of winners and losers in retail right now, but the winners seem to be those in health, beauty and [fitness] fashion,” he said.