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NEW YORK CITY-A group of fashion-industry powerhouses are rebuilding Lower Manhattan in style, showing their commitment to Downtown by digging in their spike heels and creatively structuring deals for new flagship stores and corporate headquarters.

French designers Marithe & Francois Girbaud have leased 3,150 sf of space at 47 Wooster St. The freestanding, one-story building will house the firm’s first US store. While the deal was originally negotiated prior to September 11 at a rent close to the $325,000-per-annum asking price, it could easily have been scrapped after the World Trade Center attacks, according to the Lansco Corp.’s Yair Staav, whose Retail 1st group brokered for Girbaud. Building owner 47 Wooster St. Realty Corp was self-represented.

“Because of September 11, the building owner and the tenant created a discounted rent for an extended period of time, to allow the tenant to get going until the area is back on its feet,” Staav tells GlobeSt.com. “Instead of letting the tenant go, we immediately came back with incentives to get the deal signed.” Girbaud will occupy the building for one year at the discount rent. A higher rent will then kick in for the remainder of the 15-year lease.

Another world-class designer, Tommy Hilfiger, is close to opening a new flagship store in a 9,000-sf build-to-suit property at the northwest corner of West Broadway and Broome Street. Staav and Retail 1st brokers Douglas Zinn, Bill Melville and Christine Emery brokered for building owner 376 West Broadway Enterprises. GVA Williams Real Estate Services Co. Inc. represented the tenant. Details of the transaction were not disclosed but the asking price for the property was $1.7 million per annum.

Designer Issey Miyake’s Gordon Kipping-designed US Flagship at 119 Hudson St., originally scheduled to open September 12, is readying its Frank Gehry installation for this week’s opening. The Lansco group brokered for Miyake and building owner William Fleischer. Asking price for the 13,000-sf, tri-level space was $500,000 per annum. Staav wouldn’t reveal the terms of the deal but says “the building owner isn’t unhappy” with the transaction. In addition to the retail space, Miyake will also house his main US offices on the bottom level–a vault-style space that extends underneath Hudson Street.

One final fashion deal for the area is an expansion of English designer Ted Baker’s 1,000-sf space at Grand and Mercer streets. Baker, a known favorite of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s family, has leased an additional 4,000-sf at the corner location. It will be the designer’s US flagship and will carry the entire men’s and women’s lines. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Staav says the significance of the deals lies in commitment as well as commerce. “Fashion tenants close to ground zero are digging their heels into the ground and staying, they’re not running away. After all the bad news, we really have a lot of confidence.

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