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Uniqlo's largest retail lease deal in NYC history
21
Apr '10
In the largest retail lease in New York City history, Japan's fastest-growing casual clothing chain, Uniqlo, selected 666 Fifth Avenue for the location of its global flagship store. The store will occupy 90,000-sq.ft. on the ground, second and third floors of the famous Fifth Avenue tower.

The lease is valued in excess of $300,000,000 with ground floor rents exceeding $2,000 psf. Only 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space remains available at 666 Fifth Avenue, the epicenter of New York's shopping district.

“We are incredibly pleased to have Uniqlo as a valued, premier tenant at 666 Fifth Avenue. Uniqlo's commitment to 666 Fifth Avenue in terms of space, length of term and rent validate the power and lure of high volume retail sales along the Fifth Avenue's Gold Coast. Uniqlo is a critical component to our re-tenanting of the entire block between 52nd and 53rd Street into a 'super block' of fantastic retailers that could generate more sales than any other block in New York and around the world,” said Mark Schoenfeld of The Carlyle Group. Carlyle is a partner in ownership of the retail condominium of 666 Fifth Avenue with Stanley Chera's Crown Acquisitions and the Kushner Company.

In one of the smartest real estate plays by any retailer of late, Uniqlo took advantage of the unique opportunity 666 Fifth Avenue offered to engineer a space unprecedented on Fifth Avenue, achieving a tremendous value prospect. The retailer will occupy 83,000 square feet of above-ground selling space in addition to the 6,500 square feet on the ground floor, creating a blended rent that represents a great value.

Uniqlo, which was launched in Japan in 1984 and opened its first US store in Soho in 2006, has more than 760 stores in Japan and a total of nearly 900 stores worldwide. Known for providing high-quality, stylish casual wear at remarkably low prices, Uniqlo will now showcase its goods in a department-store-sized space – its largest store in the world -- at 666 Fifth Avenue.

Crown Acquisition's Mr. Chera noted that retail space on Fifth Avenue has held and even increased in value despite the global economic downturn. “The occupancy level on Fifth Avenue has been almost 100% throughout the most difficult environment,” Mr. Chera said. “Retailers who make the commitment to Fifth Avenue uniformly experience their highest gross sales in those stores. Yes, the rents are high – but the returns are great in terms of revenue and exposure to more than 40 million tourists and other shoppers each year.”

Featuring 200 linear feet of modern glass frontage on Fifth Avenue, the retail condominium at 666 Fifth Avenue is also home Abercrombie & Fitch's Hollister and the NBA Store.

“By buying out the Brooks Brothers lease and buying the Hickey Freeman lease from bankruptcy, the ownership of 666 Fifth Avenue was able to assemble the most valuable retail opportunity in New York,” said C. Bradley Mendelson, wholeads the exclusive leasing team from Cushman & Wakefield. “Executing this strategy showed a prescient confidence in Fifth Avenue that has proven more than right. In fact, we expect the final piece of this remarkable retail condominium to achieve similarly impressive rents.”

Uniqlo Co Ltd

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