Yoga apparel brand inks big deal in Soho

Alo Yoga takes 14K sf at Midwood’s 96 Spring St.

96 Spring Street in SoHo (Credit: Google Maps)
96 Spring Street in SoHo (Credit: Google Maps)

Athleisure shop Alo Yoga – whose leggings are popular with celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift – is moving into more than 14,000 square feet on one of Soho’s busy corners as it expands its Manhattan footprint.

The Los Angeles-based retailer inked a deal for 11,000 square feet of selling space at Midwood Investment and Development’s 96 Spring Street, the landlord’s agent told The Real Deal.

“They are aggressively expanding and were looking to place a foothold in New York, and Soho was one of the first areas of focus for them,” said Joel Isaacs of Isaacs and Company, who marketed the space and negotiated the deal on behalf of Midwood along with colleagues David Baker and Josh Lewin. “We were fortunate to get Alo to come. There wasn’t a lot of demand in the heart of Soho for 10,000-plus square feet.”

David Baker

The asking rent for the ground-floor portion of the selling space was $850 per square foot, and $85 for a portion on the second floor. The deal also included 3,500 square feet of storage space.

Alissa Bersin of the McDevitt Company represented Alo, which earlier this year signed a 17,600-square-foot lease in the Flatiron District at Thor Equities’ 164 Fifth Avenue.

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Sitting at the corner of Mercer Street one block west of Broadway, 96 Spring was the longtime home of menswear retailer Ben Sherman before it left the space when its lease expired last year. Google ran a pop-up shop out of the store for three months starting late last year to show off products like its virtual-reality headset and its Pixel smartphone.

Midwood, headed by CEO John Usdan, bought 96 Spring for an undisclosed price in 1998, a lifetime before investor speculation pushed retail asking rents up to excessive levels that pushed many tenants out of the market.

Isaacs said the landlord’s low basis was key to having the flexibility to get a deal done, especially when other owners who bought at the height of the market are facing pressure from lenders to keep spaces empty until they can get deals done at a higher rent.

“There was a time not so long ago that asking rents were $1,000-plus. We never really thought the market on Spring was $1,000 or more,” he said.

The asking rent on that stretch of Spring between Broadway and West Broadway was $817 per square foot during the third quarter, down 18 percent from a year earlier, according to CBRE. That was the largest price correction among the 16 different shopping corridors tracked by the brokerage.

Soho has been severely impacted by the correction in retail. About 900,000 square feet of retail space sat vacant in the neighborhood earlier this year, or roughly $940 million worth of the nearly $4 billion in retail-focused investment over the past six years, a recent analysis by TRD found.