GLENDALE, NY-The first phase of preleasing at the Shops at Atlas Park, has snagged such names as Coldwater Creek, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon, Jos. A. Bank and Mitchell’s Fish Market. And, according to the project’s development director, several other deals are also in active negotiation for New York City’s first-ever lifestyle retail center.

The project’s leasing team is targeting fashion-forward men’s, women’s, teen and children’s retailers, as well as jewelry, shoes, fashion accessories, housewares, gourmet food tenants and a variety of cafes, bistros and restaurants. The project will also include a “specialty” six-screen cinema. The developer is Atco Properties & Management Inc.

The specialty retail campus, which will feature a blend of upscale shops, dining and entertainment destinations surrounding a two-acre, open-air landscaped park with a 1,400-car parking garage, is slated to open in 2005.

Retail is gaining strength across the board. In fact, retail rents rose in most major US Downtown markets over the last year, according to the global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. The firm reported that consumer demand fueled rent increases in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and West Palm Beach, FL. Real spending grew at an annual rate of 1.4% from mid-year 2002 to mid-year 2003. This marks the first economic downturn since 1949 that saw no decline in spending for any quarter, according to C&W.

In a large Manhattan deal, Z Chemists, a new concept from the owner of Zitomer Pharmacy & Department Store, leased 5,000 sf on the ground floor of the building and 7,000 sf of lower-level space for a 15-year term at 40 W 57th St. The lower level will feature the latest fashions in clothing and accessories, toys through the Zittles Toy Store name, jewelry, home accessories, electronics, videos and DVDs, and pet products under the Zitomer Z Spot brand. The upper level will offer the apothecary, high-end cosmetics and health and wellness products.

Robert Futterman, chairman & CEO, and Mark Kapnick, director, of RKF represented building owner the Lefrak Organization in the transaction. The tenant was represented by Jay Cummings of Jay Cummings Real Estate.

The Lefrak Organization recently completed a $33-million renovation of the 750,000-sf building. The work included the installation of a stainless steel facade and a new lobby, elevators and high-end fixtures. “After completing the complex renovation of the entire building, the Lefrak Organization wanted to bring in a higher class retail tenant that would fit with the property’s new look,” notes Kapnick.

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