The Real Deal New York

Puma near deal to open a new store at UOB’s 592 Fifth: sources

Singaporean lender upgrading façade and retail at Midtown property
By Mark Maurer | April 05, 2018 01:00PM

592 Fifth Avenue

UPDATED, April 6, 11:50 a.m.: After a hiatus in Manhattan, Puma may soon re-lease in the wild.

The German sportswear company is in late-stage negotiations to sign a lease for a new store – its only one in the borough – on Midtown’s Fifth Avenue, sources told The Real Deal.

Puma would occupy the 6,000-square-foot ground-floor space and at least a portion of the lower level at 592 Fifth Avenue, an 11-story building owned by Singaporean lender United Overseas Bank, sources said.

Sources familiar with the deal said a lease is out with the company, and it has not yet been signed.

Last year, UOB made plans to upgrade the Beaux-Arts-style building with a new façade and retail. The 70,000-square-foot property, located at the corner of West 48th Street, was constructed in 1911 as the Black, Starr & Frost Building, then home to a jewelry showroom.

The building’s retail component consists of more than 22,000 square feet of space across the ground floor, lower level, mezzanine and second floor, according to marketing materials for the space. There are 170 feet of frontage and ceiling heights of 20 feet.

It is unclear how much space Puma is negotiating to take outside of the ground floor. The retailer was looking for about 10,000 square feet in Manhattan as of last summer.

Crown Retail Services’ Brittany Bragg is representing the landlord and JLL’s Bob Gibson is representing the tenant, sources said.

A spokesperson for UOB said, “We are still evaluating potential tenants for the ground floor retail space at UOB Building at 592 Fifth Avenue.”

Representatives for the brokers and Puma did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

When it comes to footwear, Puma would be in good company, surrounded by Adidas at 565 Fifth Avenue and Asics at 579 Fifth Avenue. (H&M and Ted Baker are also nearby, at 589 and 595 Fifth Avenue, respectively.)

Retail asking rents for the Fifth Avenue corridor between 49th and 60th streets average $2,982 per square foot, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s most recent quarterly report.

Over the past 15 years, Puma’s foothold in Manhattan came and went. Stores at 421 West 14th Street, 33 Union Square West and 521 Broadway have all closed. The closest store right now is at the Queens Center in Elmhurst.

UOB has become a major lender on New York City real estate, having originated more than $600 million in loans in 2017, according to CrediFi.