George Comfort & Sons is in “active negotiations” for 1.5 million feet of potential leases to fill the 700,000-foot hole at the bottom of Worldwide Plaza at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street.
Comfort’s Peter Duncan said since they bought the building, they have had “tours and interest from over 2 million square feet of tenants.”
Speaking at the Young Mens’/Womens’ Real Estate Association luncheon yesterday, Duncan revealed some insights into the transaction, which involved buying the former Macklowe building with partners RCG Longview and DRA Advisors and obtaining a straight mortgage from the foreclosing lender, Deutsche Bank.
“It was a tough deal to put together and the deal was pulled from us for a couple of weeks,” he said. “The results to date have been beyond our expectations.”
The available 700,000 feet — which has “tremendous light and air” — was vacated by Ogilvy & Mather in July. The asking rent for the space, which spans the 4th through 17th floors and comes with some concourse area, runs from $52 to $59 a foot, making it competitive with many Class A buildings. The most interest has come from Third Avenue tenants, Duncan said.
The morning after the closing, Duncan recalled walking the plaza area when he spotted one of the security guards with a dog. “It’s nice you brought your dog to work with you,” he told the guard, who replied with respect: “No sir, it’s your dog.”
A health and beauty store is marking its first venture into Union Square.
Price Wise Health & Beauty Aids signed a 15-year lease for 4,545 feet at 10 Union Square East. The chain, which already has three locations uptown, will open next spring in this retail condominium owned by Malkin Properties at the base of the residential Zeckendorf Towers.
Warren Newcorn of Newcorn Realty brought in the tenant. Malkin was represented in-house by Fred C. Posniak , who negotiated on behalf of the owners, a partnership led by Peter L. Malkin and Anthony E. Malkin. Chipotle, Subway and Bravo Pizza all signed deals there earlier this year.
Faster food concepts also continue to expand just south of Grand Central Terminal.
4Food, a new healthy food concept featuring organically grown food and farm animals, has leased 2,100 feet on the ground and 700 feet on the mezzanine of 286 Madison Avenue at 40th Street. The space used to house the Airline Stationery store. The 4Food folks were repped by Steve Soutendijk of Cushman & Wakefield.
Those that like their eats to be Hale & Hearty will soon find one in 1,500 feet right next door in the same building. H&H was brought to the site by Joshua Gettler of New Street Realty Advisors. Amira Yunis and Jared Lack of Newmark Knight Frank worked for the APF Properties ownership on both deals. Retail rents in the area range from $75 to $150 a foot.
A few blocks away at 370 Lexington Ave., the ever-expanding Lenny’s is leasing yet another sandwich shop, bringing its city total to 15.
Paul Berkman and Davie Berke of NKF represented the tenant in the 1,700-foot deal. Fred Rosenberg and Adam Weissleder negotiated in-house for building owner Sherwood Equities.
Publishing firm Asset International is opening a New York office at 805 Third Ave., where it signed an 11-year deal for the entire 21st floor, encompassing 23,800 feet. The Stamford, Conn.-based firm works on publishing, e-mail, newsletter and education portals focusing on retirement and international securities services industries.
Jonathan Plotkin of FirstService Williams repre sented the tenant which will move in next year. David Nevins of Cohen Brothers Realty Corp. repre sented the ownership in-house. [email protected]