Newmark, CBRE brokers take top retail dealmaker awards


There will be light and food at the end of the COVID tunnel
thanks to the inventiveness and hard work of some of the city’s top retail

Newmark’s Matt Leon has picked up the Real Estate Board of New York’s top Retail Deal of the Year award for bringing the wildly popular digital art museum Hall des Lumières to 49 Chambers Street.

And CBRE’s Eric Gelber, Jordan Kaplan, Gary Trock and Zach
Parisi earned the Most Ingenious Retail Deal of the Year for the big fat Greek
restaurant lease they arrange with Avra Estiatorio at 1271 Avenue of America.

“Last year was an incredibly challenging time for all New
Yorkers and the fact that we had such a strong showing of Submitting Brokers
participating in this year’s Retail Deal of the Year Awards contest underscores
how our industry buckled down and persevered against all odds to keep the
City’s economic engine running,” said REBNY President James Whelan.

“Going forward, we will utilize the lessons learned from the pandemic to drive discussions that will help rethink and re-imagine New York City’s retail industry, so this important sector of our economy can thrive once again.”


Recognized as the most meaningful transaction in its overall
characteristics and importance to the New York City retail market, “Bringing
Immersive Art to City Hall: The Revitalization of a Landmarked Icon at 49
Chambers Street”, transacted by Leon, was honored as The Most Impactful Retail
Deal of the Year during REBNY’s 23rd Annual Retail Deal of the Year Awards at a
virtual ceremony held August 5, where a portion of the proceeds benefitted
Creative Art Works.

Leon arranged  to bring the interactive French art gallery Atelier Des Lumières (image top) to the Chetrit Group’s 49 Chambers Street.

Created by Culturespaces, the Atelier Des Lumières (Studio
of Lights) has drawn over three million visitors since it first opened in Paris
in 2018. A second space created in a former submarine base in Bordeaux in June
2020, has welcomed more than 300,000 visitors in its first three months.

The immersive art venue showcases work from artists such as
Leonardo da Vinci, Gustav Klimt and Claude Monet projected in such a way as to
surround visitors and are accompanied by a soundtrack. The digital artwork
wraps around all four walls and is projected onto the floor and the structures
within the space.

At 49 Chambers Street, Atelier Des Lumières will fill 28,000
s/f with exhibitions designed to complement the venue’s interiors of marble,
columns, bank tellers, stained glass windows and sculptures, according to a
spokeswoman.  Woods Bagot is restoring
the banking hall and converting it for use as a digital gallery.

It will be called the Hall des Lumières and is set to open
in on the ground floor of the building in 2021/2022 under a “multi-year
agreement” with the Chetrit Group.

Demonstrating exceptional ingenuity and creativity, The Most
Ingenious Retail Deal of the Year title was awarded to “OPA Avra Lands Mega
Restaurant Deal at 1271 Avenue of the Americas”, which was transacted by CBRE’s
Eric Gelber, Jordan Kaplan, Gary Trock and Zach Parisi.

The team represented the Rockefeller Group in the lease for 16,500
s/f at the repositioned 1271 Avenue of America. It was the second biggest
retail lease signed in Manhattan last year, next only to Trader Joe’s 50,000
s/f deal at 415 East 59th Street.

Avra is promising to open in the fall and hopes are high its
celebrity following that includes Leonardo DiCaprio and Katie Holmes will help
reignite the Rockefeller Center as a magnet for tourists, office workers and
locals alike.

The restaurant  – co-owned by Nick Tsoulos, Nick Pashalis, Marc Packer and TAO Group – had been in talks to take the space for several month and pulling the trigger on the deal during the pandemic was a “demonstration of its belief in the resiliency of New York and in the uniqueness of the space in 1271 Avenue of the Americas,” according to Gelber, executive vice president of CBRE’s Tri-State Retail Services Group.


Gelber added, “Avra was being pursued by many of our
competitors for other locations in Manhattan, and we are thrilled that they
recognized the benefits of 1271 Avenue of the Americas and elected to lease
space in the building. “

Steven Soutendijk of Cushman & Wakefield and Fred
Posniak of Empire State Realty Trust led the virtual retail event, which
recognized top commercial real estate brokers who not only closed remarkable
deals in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also worked tirelessly to
support their clients and sustain New York City’s retail businesses.

The other deals bidding for the top titles included:

“730 Fifth Avenue Covid & Beyond: Chopard’s Loyalty and
Legacy to the City of New York” – 730 Fifth Avenue. Submitting Broker: James S.
Downey, Cushman & Wakefield;

“A Tall Order… Starbucks Goes Big at the Empire State
Building” – 350 Fifth Avenue. Submitting Broker: David Firestein, SCG

“Direct-to-Consumer Retail, Right On Time: Fabric Fulfills
the Promise of 4220 13th Street in Long Island City” – 4220 13th Street, Long
Island City. Submitting Brokers: Brandon L. Singer, Michael Cody, Retail By

“Hai Di Lao restaurants at the All-New Virgin Hotel” – 1225
Broadway. Submitting Broker: Hentz Menard, The Corcoran Group;

“Preserving A Restaurant Landmark In NYC When It Was Needed
Most – The Leasing of Gotham Bar & Grill at 12 East 12th Street” 12 East
12th Street. Submitting Broker: Jeffrey D. Roseman, Newmark;

“Signaling Strength in the Darkest Days” – 560 Broadway. Submitting
Brokers: Benjamin Birnbaum, Ariel Schuster, Newmark;

“The Fairest Brooklyn Fare at 75 West End Avenue” – 75 West
End Ave. Submitting Broker: JP Sutro, Lee & Associates NYC LLC.

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