Retail condos the latest trend in trendy LES market

Premier Equities among retail players making moves in neighborhood

147 East Houston Street
147 East Houston Street on the Lower East Side

It’s no secret that the Lower East Side is appealing to real estate investors, and that’s playing out in the latest trend to hit the trendy neighborhood: a retail condominium boom.

Investors are increasingly selling retail condos – which are created during condo conversions of apartment buildings with ground-floor retail space – to take advantage of rising rent prices on the Lower East Side.

In a recent deal, Atkins & Breskin Co., which is based on the Lower East Side, sold its 5,200-square-foot retail condo at 147 East Houston Street to Midtown-based retail landlord Premier Equities for $5.75 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The property has three storefronts boosting its appeal, with one storefront to remain occupied by the Sapphire Lounge nightclub, which pays around $146 per square foot for its 1,000-square-foot space.

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Another storefront on the corner of East Houston and Eldridge streets is vacant, while Premier Equities may look to replace the tenant at the third storefront, restaurant Lucky’s Famous Burgers.

Premier Equities is seeking banks, restaurants or fashion retailers for the space, according to RKF vice president Brian Segall, who along with Chris Masi represented both sides of the transaction.

Segall said the brokerage has found “a very active market” for retail condos in the area, with the firm having recently sold a retail condo at 50 Bond Street, a retail co-op at 684 Broadway and another retail condo not far from 147 East Houston Street.

“With the growth of new development, retail condos are becoming much more prevalent,” Segall said.

The market for office condos, meanwhile, is also picking up throughout Manhattan – with 59 office condo properties having sold for a total of $5.8 billion over the past 12 months, according to Real Capital Analytics. That’s a 134 percent increase year-over-year, according to the firm. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi

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