Source: Crain's New York Business

December 18, 2015

Gural family Reimagines SoHo building's Entrance; Lands Pricey Retail Lease

Recognizing the soaring value of retail space on Broadway in SoHo and how frenetic the thoroughfare has become for office tenants, the Gural family is spending $100 million to reconfigure the six-story, 122,454-square-foot office building the family has owned at 560 Broadway since the mid-1980s. The work will move the entrance of the 1890- vintage building, perhaps best known for housing the upscale SoHo grocer Dean & DeLuca on its ground floor, from Broadway to what is now the rear of the building on Crosby Street. The relocation will allow Converse, another retail tenant at the property, to grow into the space occupied by the entrance and expand its city flagship store along Broadway by about 1,500 square feet to a total of 9,500 square feet. The Gurals didn't disclose the economics of Converse's expansion, but retail asking rents on Broadway can range as high as $1,000 persquare foot. Although the addition for Converse doesn't amount to much square footage, it will increase to about 30 feet the frontage the shoe and apparel company has along Broadway, one of the city's busiest shopping corridors. According to Brian Steinwurtzel, a member of the Gural family and a principal at the family's real estate firm Newmark Holdings, office tenants in the building also endorsed the plan to enter and exit on Crosby Street because it is a much more tranquil setting than Broadway. "We accomplished two things that are helping our tenants," Steinwurtzel said. "Converse was thrilled to be able to have a bigger presence on Broadway and at the same time our office tenants loved the idea of being able to come in and out without being on Broadway, because sometimes it can feel almost like Times Square." The building's service entrance will become the front door and lobby, and two of its four stairwells will be removed. One of the wells will become the shaftway for two new elevators. The other will be removed to add back about 8,000 square feet of office space. "Office space at the property leases for $60 per square foot, so converting the space into offices adds value," Steinwurtzel said.