The Real Deal New York

Top 10 most valuable retail leases of 2016

Nike leads the pack with record-setting $35M lease
By Rich Bockmann and Adam Pincus | December 27, 2016 07:00AM

From left: Jeff Sutton, Marc Holliday, Joanne Podell and 650 Fifth Avenue

UPDATED, 11:30 a.m., Dec. 28: The Manhattan retail market had a rough-and-tumble 2016, but still emerged with some pricey deals, particularly along Upper Fifth Avenue.

Six of the top 10 most valuable retail leases were signed on Fifth Avenue, according to a review of data by The Real Deal. And the top two were both sporting brands. 

TRD ranked the most valuable leases signed in 2016, measured by the first year’s rent payment. Many of these deals come with a degree of financial engineering, trading off items like cash paid to tenants to help build out their spaces or a slice of sales that go to the landlord, which in turn affect the face value of the deal.

(And there are certainly property owners who have a vested interest in pushing up that face value as high as they can.) The total value of Manhattan’s top deals this year was, however, down from last year’s ranking.

These are the pricey leases that made the list:

Most valuable Manhattan retail leases of 2016
RankAddressEstimated annual rentTenantSq. ft.LandlordLandlord agentTenant agent
1650 Fifth Avenue$35 millionNike60,000Jeff Sutton, SL Green RealtyJeff SuttonCushman & Wakefield's Joanne Podell
2767 Fifth Avenue$30 millionUnder Armour53,000Boston PropertiesCushman & Wakefield’s David Green and Steven SoutendjikRKF's Robert Cohen and Mason Retail Group's Jeff Mason
3685 Fifth Avenue$20 millionCoach24,594Thor Equities, General Growth PropertiesThor Equities, General Growth Propertiesnone
43 Columbus Circle$13.5 million Nordstrom47,000SL Green Realty, Moinian GroupWinick Realty's Jeff Winick, Kelly GedinskyJLL's Derek Trulson, Stephen Stephanou of Crown Retail
5645 Fifth Avenue$10 millionLongchamp10,000Crown AcquisitionsCrown Retail ServicesCrown Retail Services
6701 Seventh Avenue$9 millionHershey6,900Witkoff GroupWitkoff Group's Sherri WhiteCBRE’s George Maragos and Avison Young's Jedd Nero
775 Rockefeller Plaza$8.5 millionAmerican Girl43,179RXR RealtyCushman & Wakefield's Gene Spiegelman and Michael O'NeillCBRE's Susan Kurland (Kurland is now at Savills Studley)
8640 Fifth Avenue$8 millionDyson3,167Vornado Realty TrustVornado Realty Trust's Ed Hogan and Mitchell DearmanThor Retail Advisors' Matthew Seigel and Robert Heicklen
9701 Seventh Avenue$8 millionNational Football League25,000Witkoff GroupCBRE's Andrew Goldberg and Matt ChmieleckiCushman & Wakefield's Kenji Oda and Eva Santiago
10730 Fifth Avenue$7.5 millionErmenegildo Zegna9,000Jeff Sutton, General Growth PropertiesJeff SuttonErmenegildo Zegna
Source: The Real Deal's reporting, plus information from CoStar Group.

1) Nike, 650 Fifth Avenue: $35 million

The world’s largest athletic-apparel retailer should know better than anyone that not all races are sprints; some are marathons.

For years, Nike had looked checked out locations to open a Fifth Avenue store, and 2016 was the year that the company finally crossed the finish line.

In late November, the company finalized a deal to lease more than 60,000 square feet at Jeff Sutton and SL Green Realty’s 650 Fifth Avenue. And with an annual starting rent of approximately $35 million, it’s one of the most expensive retail deals ever inked in Manhattan.

The lease was a long time coming. Nike had been looking to get out of its 57th Street space since at least 2013, when it came close to taking H&M’s space at 640 Fifth Avenue. (Victoria’s Secret ended up leasing the location last year, in one of 2015’s priciest deals.)

And earlier this year, Nike was in late-stage talks to relocate to the former FAO Schwarz space at the base of the General Motors Building, but was edged out by swift-moving competitor Under Armour.

2) Under Armour, 767 Fifth Avenue: $30 million

Speaking of Nike’s Baltimore-based competitor, Under Armour scored one of the city’s most iconic retail spaces when it took over FAO Schwarz’s 53,000 square feet at the base of Boston Properties’ GM Building.

The deal not only earned Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank a gig as the keynote speaker at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ New York expo in December, but also boosted the company into the big leagues of Manhattan retail.

Under Armour will pay a whopping $30 million in the first year of its lease.

3) Coach, 685 Fifth Avenue: $20 million

Coach inked a pricy deal at Thor Equites and General Growth Properties’ 685 Fifth Avenue, offering a window into the luxury-accessories retailer’s overall real estate strategy.

Coach has in recent years been shrinking its footprint amid a strategy that focuses on fewer, more high-profile locations.

The company signed a lease for nearly 25,000 square feet on Fifth Avenue, but sources said part of the negotiations included provisions that allowed Coach to close stores at GGP-owned malls. That probably helped push up the $4,000 per-square-foot figure the retailer paid in the deal.

Thor and GGP have been in contract since the spring to sell the office portion of the building for $160 million to Turkish firm Gulaylar Group, which is planning a hotel conversion.

4) Nordstrom, 3 Columbus Circle, $13.5 million

The Seattle-based department store had been rumored to be eyeing the Moinian Group and SL Green’s 3 Columbus Circle for one of its discount Nordstrom Rack stores. But when it inked a 47,000-square-foot lease earlier this year, the company announced the new location would be a standalone men’s shop.

The new store will be just one block away from Nordstrom’s 400,000-square-foot, seven-level department store at Extell Development’s Central Park Tower on Billionaires’ Row.

5) Longchamp, 645 Fifth Avenue, $10 million

French luxury leather retailer Longchamp inked a deal this year to relocate from Rockefeller Center’s the Channel Gardens to a spot with frontage on Fifth Avenue.

The company signed a lease a little more than a block north at Crown Acquisitions’ Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 51st Street.

6) Hershey, 701 Seventh Avenue: $9 million

Hershey inked one of the few Top 10 deals this year in a location other than Fifth Avenue.

The chocolatier struck a deal to relocate its Times Square flagship when it leased 6,940 square feet on the ground floor of the Witkoff-led development of the Edition hotel, also known as 20 Times Square.

The deal came with roughly 3,100 square feet of external signage.

7) American Girl, 75 Rockefeller Plaza: $8.5 million

In a Fifth Avenue relocation, the doll maker made a deal to move from Sutton and SL Green’s 609 Fifth Avenue to RXR Realty’s 75 Rockefeller Center, where it signed a deal to take 40,000 square feet.

8) Dyson, 640 Fifth Avenue: $8 million (tie)

It may not be haute couture, but Dyson now has its place among Fifth Avenue’s glitterati.

The company, best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, signed a lease for 3,167 square feet on the ground floor at Vornado Realty Trust’s 640 Fifth Avenue.

9) National Football League/Cirque du Soleil, 701 Seventh Avenue: $8 million (tie)

In another big-time deal for Witkoff, the NFL signed a lease for 25,000 square feet at 20 Times Square.

10) Ermenegildo Zegna, 730 Fifth Avenue: $7.5 million

The luxury Italian clothier Ermenegildo Zegna raised spirits on Fifth Avenue when it inked an expensive deal at Sutton and GGP’s Crown Building early in the year.

In March, the company signed a 15-year lease to take 9,000 square feet at the 400,000-square-foot Midtown tower, located at the corner of 57th Street.

The company’s CEO, Ermenegildo “Gildo” Zegna, negotiated the deal personally with Sutton, the New York Post had reported.

Correction: A previous version of this post erroneously omitted Nordstrom’s lease at 3 Columbus Circle.