Minskoff’s 51 Astor signs CVS as first retail tenant

Pharmacy inks deal for 11,500 sf on ground, concourse levels

51 Astor Place in the East Village (inset: Edward Minskoff)
51 Astor Place in the East Village (inset: Edward Minskoff)

Minskoff Equities’ angular, noir office building at 51 Astor Place has found a fittingly antiseptic lessee to sign on as its first retail tenant.

CVS, the pharmacy whose desire to maintain a squeaky-clean image led it it to stop selling cigarettes, has signed on to be the building’s first bona fide retail tenant since the retail space hit the market about two years ago, The Real Deal has learned.

The store is moving into roughly 11,500 square feet on the East Village building’s ground and concourse levels, according to developer Edward Minskoff.

The 400,000-square-foot, spec office building reached full office occupancy in the spring when anchor tenant IBM expanded by roughly 25 percent to more than 140,000 square feet.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The retail space, on the other hand, had sat empty for nearly two years, save for a space being used by developer Ian Schrager as a sales office for his nearby office/condo project, 215 Chrystie Street.

In May, Minskoff told TRD he was waiting until he filled up the office portion of the building to sign a retail tenant, so as not to create any conflicts of interest. In an interview Monday, he said he was happy to land CVS to anchor the space.

“They’ve got a quality balance sheet,” he said. “That’s what’s important to me. They’ll be in business a long time and they’ll pay the rent.”

Patrick Smith of SRS Realty represented Minskoff in the deal, while  Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Ross Kaplan, Jason Pruger and Trever Gallina represented CVS.

Asking rent for the space was $350 per square foot.