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Prime Soho Retail Ground Floor – 4,000 Square Feet Basement – 4,000 Square Feet High Traffic Retail Corridor High Ceilings Directly Across From The Ace Hotel & New Museum Formerly YMCA Space $50,000 Per Month Offered by Welcome to the best available retail space for rent NYC I’m James Famularo, Senior Director at the Retail…

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Chinatown Egg Waffles and Ice Cream for the East Village

By Steve Cuozzo

PokéSpot, the popular Fourth Avenue eatery that promises “to put the power of poké in your hands,” is expanding its Hawaiian raw-fish luau to a larger downtown space.

Owners Russell Yam and Alex Lam have signed a lease for a 1,200-square-foot venue at 25 Cleveland Place, formerly home to a bistro called The Cleveland. Sources said the deal includes a 2,000- square-foot rear garden, which is expected to be open in time for summer.

The asking rent was said by neighborhood sources to be around $250 a square foot. None of the Eastern Consolidated brokers involved — James Famularo for the landlord and Jeff Geoghegan and Max Swerdloff for the tenant — responded to our requests for comment.

Poké combines raw seafood and rice in a bowl with myriad other elements — which at PokéSpot’s Fourth Avenue outlet include numerous grains, fruits, seaweed, toppings and condiments.

AS APPEARED IN THE NEW YORK POST ON JANUARY 30, 2017

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Famularo and Idnani of Eastern Consolidated handle 7,500 s/f restaurant lease

By Steve Cuozzo

PokéSpot, the popular Fourth Avenue eatery that promises “to put the power of poké in your hands,” is expanding its Hawaiian raw-fish luau to a larger downtown space.

Owners Russell Yam and Alex Lam have signed a lease for a 1,200-square-foot venue at 25 Cleveland Place, formerly home to a bistro called The Cleveland. Sources said the deal includes a 2,000- square-foot rear garden, which is expected to be open in time for summer.

The asking rent was said by neighborhood sources to be around $250 a square foot. None of the Eastern Consolidated brokers involved — James Famularo for the landlord and Jeff Geoghegan and Max Swerdloff for the tenant — responded to our requests for comment.

Poké combines raw seafood and rice in a bowl with myriad other elements — which at PokéSpot’s Fourth Avenue outlet include numerous grains, fruits, seaweed, toppings and condiments.

AS APPEARED IN THE NEW YORK POST ON JANUARY 30, 2017

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The Necessity of Experiential and Omnichannel Retail

Brands that are thriving in today’s retail environment are multi-taskers. They not only deliver on value but provide unique customer experiences that can be highlighted via social media to increase brand recognition. It’s no longer enough to toss on Hot97, jack-up the AC and open your doors – retailers need to offer a compelling reason for customers to get out of their apartments, while also leveraging multiple retail channels. These six retailers offers an experience that customers can either post to Instagram and Snapchat, interact with, relate to or learn from and ultimately expand their business:
• Bandier, a high-end activewear boutique, has a dedicated studio within the store for fitness classes and panel discussions that counts Kim Kardashian, Olivia Culpo, Liv Tyler and Jordin Sparks among its biggest fans.
• Alexis Bittar, jewelry maker best known for its signature Lucite bangles and runway collaborations, employs sketch artists to take residency in their Broome Street location and provide customers with a glamorous POV while they try on new pieces from their seasonal collection.
• Shinola, Detroit based and American made leather-goods, bicycle and watch brand, partners with The Smile of Bond Street at their Tribeca location to offer a small newsstand cafe and limited seating that turns caffeine seekers into customers and doubles as a social/meeting space.
• Saturdays, originally surf-centric turned urban menswear apparel company, has a coffee shop and backyard space in its Crosby Street flagship, as well as curates and distributes a namesake magazine with rare interviews from industry tastemakers.
• Minsai, handmade nautically themed men’s accessories company, features an in-house tea counter that seamlessly incorporates elements of their brand while also offering an alternative to neighboring Saturdays coffee shop and the litany of cafes in the neighborhood.
• Reebok partnered with Highsnobiety, an online publication covering trends in streetwear, music and culture, to honor the ladies-classic Freestyle Hi with an exclusive party featuring limited edition gifts, custom photobooth and a super-rare sneaker giveaway featuring shoes signed by Teyana Taylor.
Today’s retailers need to operate online and on the ground while leveraging in-store experiences and events to keep customers walking in the door and constantly interacting with the brand. Ken Bernstein, CEO of Acadia Realty Trust, points out that “retail has always been Darwinian and always been cyclical”. Consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in over a decade and retail sales in the US reached $4.8 trillion in 2016 according to the Department of Commerce, and only $394 billion, or 8%, was online. Retail is healthy, it’s just that certain brands are struggling to connect with consumers.

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After a record two years, retail rainmaker James Famularo still sniffing out deals

“You are definitely going to see a change, but no matter how easy it gets to order from home, people are still going to want to go out and touch and feel and try things on, and bigger brands will always need a presence in New York City,” Famularo told Real Estate Weekly.

For the last two years, Famularo has dominated NYC’s retail scene. Costar named him a power broker in retail leasing for 2015 and 2016, and he was recognized by his own firm as retail broker of the year in both 2015 and 2016.

A retail specialist for more than 15 years, Famularo has leased over one million square feet of store in his career while carving out a niche for himself working with food and beverage clients, of which he has negotiated more than 700 leases.

Before finding success in retail, Famularo was an electrical contractor working in high rise buildings throughout the city for a decade. Like many before him, he found his way to the brokerage side of real estate through a friend. “I just didn’t feel like I was satisfied at the end of the day, and I needed to change,” said Famularo.

After taking some time off and traveling, he spoke with a friend who was a broker, and told him all he had to do was take a course to get into the game.

At his first job as a broker, he started out with just a desk and phone. His manager at the time had been in the business for 40 years, and told him not to be disappointed if he went six to eight months without doing a deal.

“So I took in what she said, put my nose down, and went to work,” said Famularo. He started out by placing a couple of ads in the New York Times and making cold calls. He ended up getting a couple of leads and showing a few spaces.

On his third day at the job, he walked into his manager’s office with two deals in his hand. “She looked at me like it was a joke, and I thought, did I do something wrong?” recalled Famularo.

Now, after more than 15 years in the industry and at the top of his game, Famularo credits his work ethic and establishing relationships in the industry as what has brought him success in the business. “I don’t care if someone is extremely bright or not, as long as they have work ethic, I can teach them how to be a great broker,” said Famularo.

One of his favorite things about being a broker is the creative aspect, which he said is a part of the job that often goes overlooked. “You walk into a vacant space with cement walls and floors, literally nothing there, and you have to walk through the space and think about who would be the perfect tenant for the space,” said Famularo.

The entire process of signing a tenant — from negotiating a phone call, to beginning to trade paper, to signing and committing to a buildout, and finally to opening — is one that Famularo has found very satisfying.

And despite the worries over the retail industry, Famularo and his team have stayed very busy over the last year. He reported that his deal activity is up 12 percent year-over-year, with most of his deals restaurant, and food and beverage related.

“I’ve been in this industry for so long at this point, it’s not the first time I’ve heard someone scared and saying that the sky is falling,” he said. “The sky is not falling, simply an adjustment is happening.”

He said the fashion industry is where the real toll has been taken, but that the industry will continue to move forward while it changes.

Reflecting on his career so far, one of Famularo’s proudest moments is being part of the transformation of a stretch of Reade Street in Tribeca into a kids-centric retail corridor. In 2000, Famularo met with a landlord who owned a building on the street, which at the time was “really dead,” with just the remnants of former textile and button manufacturers.

They decided to find a natural, organic use for the street, and since Tribeca’s large loft apartments were attracting families to the area, they decided to make it a kids block. Over the years, one by one more kids retailers took space on the street. “Now when you walk down the street, you see hundreds of strollers,” said Famularo. One of his most recent deals was on that same stretch, where French clothing brand Jacadi took space at 106 Reade Street.

Famularo and his team are currently marketing a 3,000 s/f space on 356 Broadway, between Leonard and Franklin in Tribeca, as well as a 2,500 s/f space on 48th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues.

After so many years in the business and two award-winning years in a row, Famularo said it feels good to take a moment to enjoy the recognition, but then it’s right back to work.

“It feels great. A lot of times I don’t take a moment to stop and smell the roses,” he said. “I’m constantly putting my nose down and focusing on work, and that’s what you have to do.”

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Downtown Is On The Rise

Downtown continues to rise on all fronts, scoring its best quarter in two years. Office tenants, retailers, and cultural organizations have flocked to Lower Manhattan in increasingly higher numbers, gobbling up large blocks of space in the process. This activity follows the trend of the last 5 years, as nearly 400 tenants have relocated from submarkets to Downtown, totaling almost 13 million square feet.
The downtown streetscape has also enhanced the area’s rent growth and demand. Top-tier brands continue to carve out unique retail concepts in alignment with new economy and experiential preference.
The start of all the of this began with the Howard Hughes Corporation’s South Street Seaport redevelopment. The project is home to Jean George, an iPic Theater, David Chang’s Momofuku, 10 Corso Como and a variety of art and fashion shows year-round. The emergence of a one-of-a-kind neighborhood has helped distinguish the East River waterfront of Lower Manhattan from other submarkets,
People especially in New York, always want what’s new and fresh, and the East Side by the Seaport has become that place. Innovators want to be surrounded by authenticity and originality, not big box retailers with stores in multiple locations you can find in any major city.
With Pier 17 on track to open in the summer of 2018 we will continue to see an emergence of all office tenants, retailers, and cultural organizations. This emergence has been bucking trends in other part of the city and we expect it to continue for years to come.

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