Major home goods chain signs big lease at Rego Center mall

Texas-based At Home signed lease for 130K sf, marking first store in NYC

The Rego Center at 61-35 Junction Boulevard with Vornado's Stephen Roth (Credit: Google Maps; Getty Images)
The Rego Center at 61-35 Junction Boulevard with Vornado's Steve Roth (Credit: Google Maps; Getty Images)

As several major retailers across the country face imminent bankruptcy, one big-box store signed a massive lease at the Rego Center in Queens.

At Home, the Texas-based home decor superstore, is taking roughly 130,00 square feet at the Alexander’s Inc.-owned shopping center at 61-35 Junction Boulevard, according to sources and documents. The deal marks At Home’s first store in New York City.

The retailer is taking over the former Kohl’s space on the second floor of the mall. Kohl’s — which according to mortgage documents signed a lease in June 2006 — closed its store in the middle of 2019.

Sources said the rent will likely pencil out between the high-$20s and low-$30s per foot — less than what Kohl’s had been paying. An Alexander’s filing shows that the lease expires in 2031 and can be renewed through 2051.

Hudson Real Estate’s Jason Gerbsman has been marketing the space for sublease. Jerry Welkis of New Rochelle-based Welco Realty represented At Home. None of the parties immediately responded to requests for comment.

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Permits are already in progress for At Home’s new space, including its signage, according to filings with the Department of buildings. At the end of January, the chain had more than 218 stores in 39 states.

Alexander’s, the department store chain-turned-REIT controlled by Vornado Realty Trust, owns the Rego Park mall, which spans 960,000 square feet across two buildings and is bound by Queens Blvd. 62nd Drive, 63rd Road and 97th Street.

Vornado retained development rights for the property and completed the 314-unit rental, The Alexander, on top of the commercial base in 2015. Vornado also has the rights to develop one additional tower, city zoning documents show.

The seven-acre shopping destination is home to a bevy of national chains including Costco, TJ Maxx, Ulta, Marshalls, Burlington, Old Navy and Bed Bath & Beyond. A new hybrid format Ikea was slated to open this summer but it is unclear if the coronavirus pandemic has delayed its opening.

Urban Edge Properties, a real estate investment trust which was spun off from Vornado Realty Trust in 2015, manages the property.

Lois Weiss writes the real estate column “Between the Bricks ®.” She is formerly of the New York Post.

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