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Closing a Retail Deal in NYC During a Pandemic

By David Bibian

With New York City hit hard by the pandemic, making real estate deals during the last year has come with new challenges. However, what I have learned during this time is that the downturn of retail and commercial space brings new opportunity for brokering great deals in prime locations.

My clients, a middle-market manufacturer for sliding doors based in California, asked me to find them a new flagship showroom after they learned that the retail market in NYC had taken a hit. The shift in the market opened up the possibility of finding a large space in a great location, at a reduced price.

Ready to move from their Fifth Avenue showroom, my clients were hoping to find a location within walking distance to trains, specifically Penn Station. Their existing landlord offered concessions to convince them to stay, but my clients weren’t satisfied with a few ongoing issues, such as the building’s scaffolding, which was making the showroom darker.

As I canvassed the streets for retail space to fit my clients’ needs, I found that many retail spaces were so desperate to find tenants in the current market that they were accepting offers at a 30% reduction from regular market price. I was able to find my clients a 2,400-square-foot space in prime Chelsea and negotiated the price from $16,000 to $12,500. We locked the deal within two weeks.

Now is the time to jump on the retail market’s deals.


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