If Madison Avenue could get any tonier, Faith Hope Consolo would be the person to do it.
“We’re redoing the whole block,” the boisterous broker told The Observer, referring to the Consolo & Aquino assignment at 1225 Madison Avenue. Working with the co-op board, Ms. Consolo decided to take the four existing stores, many of whose leases had expired, and chop them up into six smaller boutiques of roughly 1,000 square feet each, though the two corner stores are larger at 1,500 square feet a piece. “It’s very European,” Ms. Consolo said. “They’re little jewels, it’s very jewel-like. It’s a little Left Bank.”
Replacing the likes of Amour de Hair, Black and White Cleaners and Marjory Warren, will be Christopher Fisher, the so-called king of Cashmere. The Scotsman already has stores in Soho, the Hamptons and Greenwich, Conn. As has become a retail leasing trend in these tough times, Ms. Consolo set Mr. Fisher up in a pop-up shop in his current space two years ago, reminding him that uptown shoppers do not go downtown to shop. She said he fits well with the neighborhood. “It’s all Europeans up there,” she said, referring at once to the typical Upper East Side boutique as well as to the people who frequent them.
“It’s really become one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city,” Ms. Consolo said. “It has all the best schools and all the best shopping. That’s all they do all day is shop and eat, eat and shop.”
The rent is more than $300 a square foot, which Ms. Consolo said is “setting numbers for the neighborhood.” According to REBNY’s fall reports, rents on prime Madison Avenue farther south surpassed $1,000 per square foot, but other areas were around $290 per. (The storefronts are located between 88th and 89th streets, where REBNY does not track rents.)
As for the rest of the strip, a number of other European lifestyle brands are lined up, including accessories, home furnishings, jewelry and French swimwear. Since leases are out but unsigned, Ms. Consolo would not yet disclose particular brands. Mirabel still occupies one of the corners and is available. Ms. Consolo said there had been a lot of interest from children’s stores, but those were turned down.
“You want to be chi-chi,” Ms. Consolo said. “We got a lot of offers from children’s store, but that’s not what we’re doing here. We’re doing luxury.”