Retail leasing in New York appears to be recovering from its pandemic lows — thanks in part to early online brands leasing their first physical spaces.
These direct-to-consumer companies have found in recent years that they need physical stores, in the face of rising costs of acquiring customers through digital advertisements. Like online advertising, physical spaces increase brand awareness, said CBRE senior analyst Hiro Imaizumi. bisnow by email.
New tenants signed 184,000 square feet of commercial leases in the first three months of 2022, according to CBRE, but these businesses have been proliferating for years. Here are the 11 biggest leases these companies have signed in Manhattan in recent years, according to data from CBRE.
DTC retailer Zappos recently signed a 16K SF lease at Union Square in Manhattan.
Store address: 19 Union Square West
Lease size: 16K SF
Online shoe retailer Zappos has been around since 1999, when it was introduced by founder Nick Swinmurn to investor Tony Hsieh – whose investment firm lost $500m on the idea. Swinmurn left in 2006 and in 2009 Hsieh agreed to sell Zappos to Amazon for $1.2 billion, according to the store’s website. The online retailer, which now also sells clothing, opened its first physical store as a pop-up in Las Vegas in 2014, Women’s Wear Daily reported at the time. Its Union Square address, which opened in 2020, was Zappos’ first physical location in New York and followed the opening in 2019 of a store in Louisville.
Store address: 120 Fifth Ave. and 201 Columbus Ave.
Lease size: SF 8K and SF 4K
Online shoe retailer Allbirds, founded in 2016 by former New Zealand professional footballer Tim Brown and renewable materials expert Joey Zwillinger, counts venture capital firms Tiger Global Management and Maveron among its investors. The sustainability-focused footwear brand signed two new leases in 2021: one in Lincoln Square and the other on Fifth Avenue in Flatiron. The shoe company has one store in London and five in the United States, according to Business of Fashion. Its first store opened in San Francisco in April 2017 and was followed five months later to another retail space in New York’s SoHo district. CNBC reported at the time.
The real real
Store address: 80 Wooster St. and 870 Madison Ave.
Lease size: 9K SF and 5K SF
Founded 11 years ago, authenticated luxury consignment store The RealReal has signed two new leases in Manhattan over the past three years. It started with its small Lenox Hill store in 2019, but signed the lease for its larger SoHo store in September 2021. The retailer went public in June 2018, according to Barron’s reports.
Authenticated Luxury Consignment The RealReal has recently expanded from online stores to physical stores.
Store address: 76 Greene St.
Lease size: 6K SF
The luxury clothing boutique AMIRI, founded by designer Mike Amiri in 2014, has become one of the biggest names in fashion, Business of Fashion reported. Amiri received nominations for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in 2018 and Menswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2019. The store’s SoHo outpost, to which AMIRI committed in December 2020, sits along the cobbled streets of the neighborhood, with retail neighbors including other luxury names such as Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., according to Popshop.
Store address: 106 Spring Street
Lease size: 6K SF
the sportswear brand Vuori, founded by designer and former runway model Joe Kudla in 2015 and received $400 million in support from Japanese investor SoftBanksigned the lease for space in SoHo in November 2021. The California-based company started in the world of e-commerce and expanded to physical stores in its home state – 106 Spring St. is its first address on the east coast.
The building is owned by Dallas-based investment firm Paceline Equity Partners, which was represented by Newmark’s Ross Berkowitz, Mitch Heifetz and Ariel Schuster in the lease, according to a statement. RIPCO’s Richard Skulnik and Lindsay Zegans worked on Vuori’s behalf in the lease negotiations.
Store address: 113 Prince St.
Lease size: 5K SF
Founded in 1997 by Katia Barros and Marcello Bastos, colorful womenswear retailer FARM Rio began establishing a US presence in spring 2019, Harper’s Bazaar reported at the time. It opened its SoHo flagship store on a short-term lease earlier this year, which it renewed nine months later according to CBRE data. The pre-war cooperative loft includes apartments directly above the store, which the Corcoran real estate agent lists as having “high ceilings, oversized windows and beautiful hardwood floors.”
Clothing retailer FARM Rio in its store at 113 Prince Street.
Bronx and Banco
Store address: 480 Broome Street
Lease size: SF 4K
Australian womenswear designer and celebrity favorite Bronx and Banco, founded in 2009 by Natalie DeBanco, has offices in New York, Hong Kong and Sydney and is supplied by retailers including Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, according to its website. His New York store is in a co-op built in the 1990s, where home goods store Kamaro keeps him company as a retail tenant. He signed his SoHo lease in June 2021.
Store address: 241, rue La Fayette.
Lease size: SF 4K
The Peak Design luggage store – stocking everything from camera bags and gear to suitcases and backpacks – has its flagship store in San Francisco. But he opened his first store on the East Coast this spring, signing a NoLita lease with asking rents of $111 per SF, Commercial Observer reported at the time. The six-story building, built in 1990, sits around the corner from the Ice Cream Museum.
Store address: 99 spring street
Lease Size: 3K SF
shark tank– renowned sports equipment The Bala Bangles store, founded in 2018 by husband and wife duo Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz, sells weighted bracelets that can be worn to make workouts harder. The company’s popularity skyrocketed in 2020, after the five sharks got into their product and a month before the pandemic trapped millions of people in their homes and away from the gym weights they would have otherwise could opt – the weights ended up on a Vogue year-end product list. The custom-designed SoHo pop-up store is the brand’s first physical space and will be open until September this year, according to Design Milk.
Amish Tolia, founder of Leap Service Inc.
Store address: 285, rue La Fayette.
Lease size: 3K SF
Online sneaker retailer HypeClub, which allows users of its online platform to buy and sell shoes, opened its flagship store in the Kushner-owned SoHo building on Lafayette Street in spring 2021, Commercial Observer reported at the time. The store has leases of 1K SF on the ground floor and 2K SF on a lower level.
Leap Services Inc.
Store address: 293 Lafayette Street and 373 Bleecker Street.
Lease size: 3K SF and 1K SF
Leap leases retail storefronts under long-term agreements with landlords, then sublets the spaces to retailers on more flexible terms. It was founded in 2018 to take advantage of the growing e-commerce pipeline to physical stores. Amish Founder Tolia recently spoke to bisnow‘s podcast about how his business is navigating the retail environment two years into the pandemic. Leap signed leases for its two new spaces, in NoLita and Greenwich Village, in late 2021 and early 2022 respectively.