Fairway beat out Whole Foods for more than just space on the Upper East Side—the local food market also won 2010′s Retail Deal of the Year Award for “Deal That Most Benefits Manhattan,” taking home the top honor over competitor Whole Foods at a Real Estate Board of New York party on Tuesday night.
“This will affect the neighborhood because it hasn’t had the benefit of a great market with fair pricing and a good selection,” said Robert Futterman, of Robert K. Futterman & Associates, one of the brokers for the deal. He added that finding 45,263-square-feet of space on the Upper East Side is “a big score.”
Also on the list of submissions for REBNY’s coveted yearly award was hip grocery store chain Whole Foods for its location at 250 East 57th Street—a deal also brokered by Mr. Futterman. Fairway’s deal defeated Whole Foods’ for “meeting the demands of an underserved market,” according to Fairway’s award entry.
A deal that brought co-brands Filene’s Basement and Syms Clothing together at a Fifth Avenue location won “Most Creative Retail Deal of the Year,” the second prong of REBNY’s award.
Robin Abrams, one of the deal’s brokers from Lansco Corp., said she was elated and a little stunned to win after years of entering submissions. Fellow broker on the deal, Howard Dolch, said it was a relief that all the “diverse puzzle pieces” of the deal—such as delivery area, layout and structural requirements—all fit together.
Real estate broker Nevin Danziger, who was excited to have been quoted in The Observer last year, eagerly chatted with us before the winners were announced. Urban Outfitters at 521 Fifth Avenue was his pick to take home one of the night’s top honors. “That area of Fifth Avenue [near West 43rd Street] has lost some of its higher-end retailers,” he said. “Historically, there have been a lot of banks in that corner.”
Mr. Danziger was the only broker we spoke with bold enough to predict winner; many of the others commented that this year’s selection of entries was too strong to pick a favorite. Other submissions included deals for Chase Bank, Citibank, Uniqlo and Shake Shack.
Although taking rents were not available, asking rent for the area of Fifth Avenue where Filene’s Basement and Syms is positioned—between 44th and 45th streets—jumped 21 percent yearly in spring 2011 to $515 per square foot, according to REBNY. Asking rent for ground-floor space on the Upper East Side—near Fairway’s 240 East 86th Street address—increased 2 percent yearly in spring 2011 to $333 per square foot.