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NEW YORK CITY-The Real Estate Board of New York recently presented its 2002 Retail Deal of the Year awards at a cocktail party at The Yale Club.

Susan Kurland of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. won the award for the Most Creative Retail Deal of the Year for American Girl Place at 609 Fifth Ave. The store is the first New York location for the Mattel Inc. concept which sells apparel and toys for the popular American Girl Dolls. The deal won for creativity, as its executors were able to convince the Mattel clients to select a higher-priced space, but one with high foot traffic, good visibility and proximity to Saks Fifth Avenue. To bridge the gap in rent, Kurland came up with a partial percentage rent deal, which enabled the asking price to be met by having the landlord share a percentage of the store’s profit. In addition to creatively meeting the needs of both the client and the landlord, the deal also sparked renewed interest in Fifth Avenue below 49th Street.

Elliot Resnick of Newmark New Spectrum Retail LLC received the award for the Transaction that Most Benefits Manhattan’s Retail Market for Bloomingdale’s long-term bondable net lease at 504 Broadway. The transaction represents one of the largest retail stores to open in Manhattan below 60th Street in 50 years. The deal brings major department store Bloomingdale’s to SoHo, a difficult feat in the current economic climate. The 504 Broadway deal emphasized the company’s commitment to New York City’s retail market. The location also was chosen as the flagship for Federated Department Stores’ new concept, that of a large specialty store which incorporates numerous individual shops under the Bloomingdale’s name. It is hoped that Bloomingdale’s in SoHo will serve as a retail magnet below Houston Street, attracting other retailers to the area. The bondable triple net lease was devised to give the tenant long-term control of the asset. Through this type of lease, the tenant assumes not only the expenses of the property, but also the risks of ownership. The deal allowed the parties to bridge key financial differences and meet financial objectives.

Peter Ripka of Ripco Real Estate Corp. was honored for Most Important and Creative Retail Deal in the Outer Boroughs for the River Plaza Shopping Center at 225th Street and Broadway in the Bronx. The center brings Target Corporation’s first store to the Bronx. Peter Ripka leveraged his existing relationship with Target to introduce a 100,000-sf space which was about to become available. Ripka and his team’s research found that in Target’s important categories — apparel, consumer electronics and home furnishings — the Bronx was substantially under retailed, providing a large market share for Target to capture. The site was also appealing because of its highway visibility, making it a regional draw, with high volume potential. The deal is important for the borough because it provides an $80 million dollar construction project and will provide 600 permanent jobs. In addition to Target, the center will house Marshall’s, Applebee’s, Lane Bryant and Kidsworld.

“This year’s winners showcase the variety of significant retail deals taking place throughout New York City,” says Robin Abrams, chair of the REBNY retail committee and executive vice president of The Lansco Corporation. “It was difficult choosing the winners with such high-caliber deals nominated.”

All retail sales and leasing transactions, regardless of size, were eligible for submission for the 2002 Deal of the Year Awards, provided they were received by May 2, 2003. Full contest rules applied.

Judges for the submissions were Robin Abrams of The Lansco Corporation; Simon Dallimore of Mexx, USA; Andy Frankl of IBEX Construction; Risa A. Levine, The Law Office of Risa A. Levine; and Fred Posniak of W&M Properties. The event was sponsored by IBEX Construction, The New York Times and W&M Properties.

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