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Swatch has finally found a second midtown location, and it's a big deal for reasons that have nothing to do with sporty neon timepieces. The chain has signed a lease for 2,000 square feet inside 666 Fifth, the same building that houses midtown's Hollister and will soon be home to a giant new Uniqlo and an equally huge Zara.
As real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo explains in today's New York Post, getting Swatch to occupy the last empty retail space in 666 Fifth was a major coup for the building's owners, who bought it from Jared Kushner in early 2008. (Kushner is still partial owner, with a 51 percent stake in the partnership that bought the building.) At the time, the storefronts were occupied by Brooks Brothers, Hickey Freeman, and the NBA store, all three of which were paying below-market rents. Over the past few years, the new owners managed to buy out Brooks Brothers (for $47 million) and Hickey Freeman (for $11 million.) Then, last month, they finally convinced the NBA to leave, making room for Zara.
Now, with Swatch in place, they've completed the building's transformation. The three old stores brought in $11 million in rent per year, according to Cuozzo's insiders. Zara bought the space outright, but if they'd rented it, they would be paying $20 million a year. Add that to the total annual rent of $35 million from the other three stores, and 666 Fifth's theoretical take has gone from $11 million a year to $55 million.
· An amazing retail coup [New York Post]
· Uniqlo's Giant Plywood Already Dominates Fifth Avenue [Racked NY]
· Zara Pays $400 Million for a Fifth Avenue Flagship [Racked NY]