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NEW YORK CITY-Two new leases announced this week are the latest sign that the city’s retail sector is sound, despite recent economic uncertainty. While the local real estate community has been consumed with concerns regarding the relocation of Downtown office tenants, a string of post-September 11 retail deals indicate that Manhattan’s shopping and entertainment community remains vibrant.

“The market is healthier than the media has predicted,” says Faith Hope Consolo of Garrick-Aug Worldwide Ltd. “I believe there is momentum and it’s a sign of what I predict to be a very good Christmas coming up.

Consolo and Garrick-Aug’s Joseph Aquino this week announced a new lease for women’s apparel chain Searle. The space is the former home of Asian-influenced women’s boutique Kenzo, a two-level, 6,000-sf store at 805 Madison Ave, between 67th and 68th streets. Marshall Felenstein of Felenstein Koniver Stern Group represented sublessor Kenzo with the permission of building owner 805 Madison Ave. Co. The new store will be Searle’s sixth location, all of which are on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Moving west along 68th Street, nationally known retailer Innovation Luggage has signed a 10-year, 1,600-sf deal at 2001 Broadway. The new location is Innovation’s seventh New York City store. Newmark New Spectrum executive vice presidents Robert Gibson and Jedd Nero represented Innovation in the transaction. Lester Schwalb represented building owner Millstein Properties.

New retail agencies announced this week include a 2,200-sf space in SoHo. The two-level space–1,300 sf on the ground floor plus a 900-sf basement–is being market by Sinvin Realty at an asking price of $230 per sf.

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