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Heralding Change

Herald Square ‘past,’ below, is making way for the future,...
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Crumbled remains of several half-century-old buildings between 30th and 31st Streets in the Herald Square shopping district of Manhattan are being swept away to make way for a new development described by its developers and marketers as a “beam of light.”

Located at 855 Avenue of the Americas (known as Sixth Avenue to New Yorkers), on the site of what until this past October were several multi-story office and retail buildings built in the late 1940s and ‘50s, a 655,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use project will “be a beam of light in the middle of Herald Square,” said Lori Shabtai, director of luxury and brand retail for New York City-based Winick Realty Group, the firm charged with marketing and leasing the retail space.

Designed by architects Costas Kondylis and Partners, and developed by 855 Realty Owner LLC, New York City, the 37-floor structure will house retail, a restaurant, and office and residential units. The new tower will be constructed with an all-glass frameless facade, providing millions of annual Herald Square pedestrians with sleek eye-candy in a sea of brick buildings.

What drew the developers to the property, according to Yitzchak Tessler, managing partner for 855 Realty Owner LLC, was “the prime location, and the unprecedented opportunity for state-of-the-art mixed-use green building.” The development, which will seek LEED-certification, will incorporate environmentally friendly materials and systems.

855 Avenue of the Americas

Location: 855 Sixth Ave. in Manhattan, between 30th and 31st Streets—one block south of Manhattan Mall in the Herald Square shopping district.Size: 655,000 sq. ft. on 37 floors, of which 240,000 sq. ft. will be retailDeveloper: 855 Realty Owner LLCArchitects: Costas Kondylis and Partners, LLPLeasing agent: Winick Realty Group, Jeff Winick. CEO, and Lori ShabtaiStatus: Demolition of the existing buildings is under way, with the new building completion date scheduled for first quarter 2010.

The project will be unveiled this month at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2007 New York National Conference and Deal Making event, at the Hilton New York & Towers. But the leasing efforts have already begun. According to Jeff Winick, CEO of Winick Realty, seven to eight floors of retail comprising about 240,000 sq. ft. will be designed to accommodate two major users, or multiple tenants of 20,000-sq.-ft. to 40,000-sq.-ft. footprints. “We are speaking to many department stores and big-box retailers, both within the United States and in Europe and Asia,” said Winick. “There is unprecedented demand for a flagship in Herald Square.” Other potential tenants include specialty stores, upscale supermarkets, movie theaters and health clubs.

Completion is slated for first quarter 2010.

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