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NEW YORK CITY-Sean John has signed a deal to occupy a 3,500-sf store at 475 Fifth Ave., making it the company’s first retail location in the city. The site at 41st Street will also serve as Sean John’s flagship retail location.

The company signed a long-term lease–slightly less than 13 years–and the asking rent was $200 per sf, according to Richard Hodos, president of Madison HGCD, the exclusive retail broker for 475 Fifth Ave. Although he could not disclose the actual rent, he did say the amount came in close to the asking price.

According to Hodos, Sean John chose the location because of its proximity to Bryant Park, which is home to the Seventh on Sixth fashion show, and because of the relatively affordable rent compared to locations a little further uptown in the mid-50s.

A discount store previously occupied the space; however, it has been vacant for two years. Sean John plans to open in spring 2004.

Madison HGCD’s executive managing director Virginia Pittarelli and Barry Lewen of B.C. Lewen Realty represented the landlord, 475 Fifth Avenue Limited Partnership, in the deal long with Hodos and Stephen Stephanou, executive vice president of Madison HGCD.

“Sean John has long wanted to establish a retail presence in New York City. However, they wanted to make sure the space was something special and that it would represent the brand in an exciting way,” explains Pittarelli. “475 Fifth is definitely that space.” The clothing line, started in 1998, is the brainchild of entertainer Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.

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