EMPIRE STATE'S ACCESSORY PUSH

Byline: Wendy Hessen

NEW YORK--The Empire State Building is becoming a magnet for accessories firms.
The landmark building traditionally has had some accessories tenants, primarily leather goods firms, but it is making an effort to lure more. The building has set aside its fourth floor for accessories firms and established special amenities for them.
In the meantime, Empire State has attracted a major accessories tenant--The Monet Group--which will take over the entire 16th floor early next year. And as reported, the 2100 Club, a cooperative showroom venture set up by seven accessories manufacturers, expects to move into two floors, a total of 38,000 square feet, by the end of this month.
Monet has signed a 15-year lease for its 16th floor space of 38,000 square feet and has an option to lease an additional 15,000 square feet elsewhere in the building. The jewelry company will relocate from its current 31,000-square-foot offices at 16 East 34 Street by the end of January.
Monet is taking over space from Garan, an apparel maker, who has moved to another floor in the building.
Discussing the fourth-floor plans, Stephen A. Tole, vice president of Helmsley-Spear and general manager and director of leasing for Empire State, said the complex should be completely rented in the next 18 months.
Besides showroom and office space with central hallways, Tole said, the floor will offer a buyers lounge similar to those provided for airline frequent fliers. The lounge will be equipped with telephones, television, vending machines and security.
Joel Pinsky, president and chief executive officer of Omega Fashions, confirmed that his firm is about to sign as a tenant on the floor.
While the deal isn't inked yet, both Pinsky and Tole said they came to terms last week and expect to sign a lease as soon as the papers are drawn. Pinsky said his firm will move into roughly 10,000 square feet in time for the January accessories market. His firm is currently at 404 Fifth Avenue, at West 37th Street.
Tole added that since attracting accessories firms is a primary goal of the building, it would provide a 1,500-square-foot space to the Accessories Council, a not-for-profit industry organization, on a pro bono basis.
Pinsky, who is also president of the council, confirmed that it plans to move into the space.
Besides the building's central location, Tole attributed much of the renewed interest to its ongoing $65 million, capital improvement program, which is scheduled to be completed in two years. Thus far, new windows, computerized elevators, improved security and fire alarm systems and a new central air conditioning plant have been installed.
Firms participating in the 2100 Club venture are Accessory Street, RGA, Designs on Travel, East End Accessories, Dolcetta Leather Goods, PackKits and RGA Leather Goods. Its duplex space will be on the 20th and 21st floors.

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