Empire State Building Opens 50,000-Square-Foot Space To Prospective Retailers

Empire State Building Opens 50,000-Square-Foot Space To Prospective Retailers

The owners of the Empire State Building are seeking tenants to fill approximately 50,000 square feet of the property, at a time when Manhattan rents continue to rise and retailers seem ready to abandon ship.

Landlord Empire State Realty Trust Inc. (ESRT) is marketing ground-floor, concourse and second-floor real estate in the tower. Thus far, the building recently has welcomed Tacombi, a New York City-based taqueria, and Juice Press, a chain of smoothie shops, which is expected to open by late spring 2018.

“For the first time since the Empire State Building opened in 1931, all of the retail space will undergo an entire gut rehab," said Thomas P. Durels, Executive VP of Real Estate at ESRT in a statement. "The opening of Tacombi and Juice Press completes the first phase of our redevelopment plan and 100% re-leasing of all the retail on 33rd Street, totaling 21,052 square feet at grade and 9,234 square feet on the second floor.”

Additional leases and store redevelopments already established along 33rd Street include Walgreens, Sushi-Teria, STATE Grill and Bar, Starbucks and Chop’t.

The second phase of the redevelopment plan, presently in progress, is taking place on the 34th Street side of the building. Multi-floor retail space is available near the new Empire State Building Observatory entrance.

Through the first nine months of 2017, retail produced only $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 ESRT.

After pushing rents to record highs, retail landlords have had to slash rent prices in some New York submarkets, including the skyscraper’s Herald Square area, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, the brokerage firm hired to market the space. Despite the harsh rent climate, Cushman & Wakefield still anticipates that the iconic spot will remain in high demand.

“Tenants that are in the market looking for a location with high density along a shopping corridor, I would think would make this one of their priorities,” said Joanne Podell, Executive Vice Chairman for Retail Services at Cushman & Wakefield, in an interview with Bloomberg.

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