Upbeat retailers snap up Manhattan stores

STOCK market gyrations aren’t bothering savvy retailers who continue to pounce on Big Apple locations. European and Asian retailers are also making moves to get a base in the dty that never sleeps. But brokers say there is a lot of competition on good spaces and some have to make offers on multiple spaces. Comers are also in hot de-mand as banks, including BankUnited and People’s United Bank; are entering the market First Republic and Citibank are adding branches while others are simply moving around their locations. “We recently closed [a deal] across from Herald Center at 960 Sixth Ave. with BankUnited for openings no sooner than August 2012 at a robust rent," says Kim Mogull, president and CEO of Mogull Realty. Mogull is also putting in several offers for The One Group, a restaurant company that includes STK and Bagatelle. “For every space we have offers on, there is competition," Mogull says. Laura Pomerantz, a principal of PBS Real Estate, represents companies like UK- based Ted Baker which opened in the Meatpacking District and just signed a deal on Fifth Ave. She sees the hol-iday business as very strong while retailers continue to have an upbeat outlook. “Internet [sales] are increasing dramatically, contributing to the positive attitude." Pomerantz is also repre-senting Gant as a national exclusive starting to look for more spaces in New Yoifc Additionally PBS is rcpping Scoop as it expands. While waiting for its flag-ship 510 Fifth Ave. store to be completed, Joe Fresh is open temporarily at 1055 Madison and 215 W. 34th St Both leases have been extended through June, Pomerantz says, because sales are so strong. “We are also seeing a French invasion,** says Karen Bellantoni, executive vice president of RKF, citing Sandro and Maje — both of whom now have shops inside Bloomingdales — as looking for additional city locations. Jeffrey Rose man, executive vice president of Newmark Knight Frank, observes that Century 21 “has a homerun with the bases loaded" on the Upper West Side, where it opened in September. “The Apple store does $200 million across the street," says Rose- man, who is representing the large retail space at the oase of 3 Columbus. Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Prudential Douglas El- liman’s retail division, says die trend continues to lean toward both luxury and discount “You are seeing activity on the Lower East Side and in NoUta where stores are filling in the blanks," die says. She is seeing a reverse migration from the Hamptons as stores like Edward Meyer, Christopher Fischer and Ma- lia Mills make the jump from $75 a foot Hampton rents to $300a foot on upper Madison. There is also a lot of excitement on the West Side from the food and beverage influx around the Meatpacking District Bellantoni adds. — Lois Weiss