A gigantic amount of retail space will soon be available in the Big Apple’s most iconic skyscraper.
At a time when Manhattan has a surplus of stores for rent, the owners of the Empire State Building are hoping that building’s fame will assist them in finding tenants to fill approximately 50,000 square feet. In addition to marketing the property, the observatory entrance for the tower will move from Fifth Avenue to 34th Street.
According brokerage Newmark Knight Frank’s executive vice president Jeffrey Roseman, since its opening in 1931, the skyscraper that has over 4 million visitors every year, has never had such a large amount of retail space available at one time. Roseman said that the corner has some of the city’s heaviest foot traffic, which will prevent any retail tenants from experiencing the same issues that have kept other space vacant. Roseman said that the Empire State Building “is its own unique submarket of the city.”
A recent report by the brokerage Cushman & Wakefield showed that after rents hit record highs, landlords for retail spaces in some of New York’s submarkets have had to drop their asking prices, including the Herald Square area in which the skyscraper is located. Cushman’s executive vice chairman for retail services Joanne Podell, who is marketing the space said it is in one of the most in-demand sites in the city.
Podell said, “Tenants that are in the market looking for a location with high density along a shopping corridor, I would think they would make this one of their priorities.”
The ground-floor, concourse and second-floor real estate in the tower are being marketed by Landlord Empire State Realty Trust Inc. A marketing account executive for the company Dana O’Donnell said that they have already started a “gut rehab of all retail space for the first time since the building opened.”
Bloomberg News reports, “Through the first nine months of 2017, retail produced just $5.6 million of the $233.1 million generated by the skyscraper, down from $7.2 million in the same period the year before, according to a regulatory filing by the landlord. About 36,000 square feet of below-grade concourse space with 19-foot (5.8-meter) ceilings should be particularly appealing to tenants, Podell said. About 24,000 square feet of that is available now, and the rest belongs to Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie, whose lease runs through 2020. Also freed up is real estate that was occupied by Bolton’s, a women’s clothing merchant that had a store-closing sale last week. Podell declined to say what rents the landlord is seeking. New retail tenants would join chains such as Walgreens, Juice Press and Starbucks. Like those, they’ll have to forgo using their own logos: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission requires that store signs be in the building’s distinctive Art Deco style.”
By Mark Snyder