With Manhattan in dismay, Brooklyn came to play.
With more people staying home in the outer boroughs this year, retailers came to them, signing leases for some major square footage.
But half of the year’s largest leases were signed in January and February, before the impact of the pandemic became clear.
The deals varied greatly. Some were your traditional clothing store or gym, while others consisted of night clubs and even schools. Educational users accounted for two of the 10 largest leases by square footage, with another taking the 11th spot.
“I would definitely say there’s a true flight to quality — that A-plus locations are definitely in play,” said Arch Brokerage’s Laurence Roberts, who represented the landlord in the top deal this year. “At what price they’re leased at is a good question, but at least they’re negotiating on space. And there is an inertia moving forward.”
Here are Brooklyn’s biggest retail leases of 2020:
1. BASIS Independent | 445 Albee Square West | 62,000 square feet
BASIS Independent, a private school serving pre-K through second grade, is coming to the massive City Point development in Downtown Brooklyn. The school wrapped up the deal in August and plans to open in the fall of 2021. Cushman & Wakefield’s Rico Murtha, Helen Paul and Jason Kroeger represented the school, while Arch Brokerage’s Roberts represented landlords Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners.
2. Burlington Coat Factory | 2163 Tilden Avenue | 45,000 square feet
With 45,000 square feet, Burlington Coat Factory’s expansion encompassed a former Staples and 24-Hour Fitness at Flatbush Center. ACHS Management owns the property. Clifford Simon of CNS Realty represented the new tenant.
3. Park Pro Systems | 5200 1st Avenue | 24,000 square feet
Park Pro Systems, a valet parking service, will use a former warehouse to store cars in Sunset Park. Jacob Stavsky of Venture Capital Properties represented both Park Pro Systems and Landlord John Luhrs.
4. Fitness Factory Health Club | 475 Clermont Avenue | 18,000 square feet
Inking a 10-year lease at what proved to be an unfortunate moment for gyms, Fitness Factory Health Club became the first tenant at RXR Realty’s new luxury residential development in Fort Greene back in January. RIPCO Real Estate’s team of Jason Pennington, Andrew Clemens, Benjamin Weiner and Jessica Hedrington represented the landlord.
5. Super Fresh Market and Feel Beauty | 1584 Flatbush Avenue | 16,500 square feet
The supermarket and beauty supply center signed a 20-year lease for the East Flatbush location at $60 per square foot. Augenbaum Realty’s Josh Augenbaum represented both Super Fresh Market and Feel Beauty and landlord 1584 Flatbush Ave Partner.
6. Crunch Fitness | 691 Fulton Street | 13,000 square feet
Another health club works its way onto the list with a renewal of its current 13,000 square foot space. M.C. O’Brien represented the landlord, MyLaw Realty, in the deal that took place in February.
7. 20/20 Night Club | 225 47th Street | 13,000 square feet
Night clubs have been slammed by the pandemic, but this deal was signed in January, before the coronavirus walloped the city. 20/20 Night Club took the entire second floor of the property, which belongs to Dib Management. Reyes & Elsamad Real Estate Group’s Julio Reyes represented both parties.
8. Randolph Beer | 25 Kent Avenue | 12,228 square feet
In another pre-shutdown transaction, Brooklyn-based brewpub Randolph Beer inked this lease in February. In addition to the restaurant, the space is home to the business’ primary brewing operations, canning operation and tap room. Lee & Associates NYC represented landlord Rubenstein Partners and Heritage Equity Partners.
9. The Learning Experience | 8904 5th Avenue | 12,095 square feet
The early education center inked a lease in August for the Bay Ridge space at $45 per square foot. Ralph Hanan and Brett Weinblatt of Compass represented the landlord, Mike Marino.
10. Telco Department Stores | 1702 Kings Highway | 11,500 square feet
Also in February, the department store signed a lease for the Midwood location. M.C. O’Brien represented both Telco and landlord, Famaly Realty.