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NEW YORK CITY-Beauty products retailer Sephora has signed on for 12,000 square feet at 5 Times Square to open what will be the chain’s first flagship store. Cory Zelnik, who represented landlord AVR Realty Co., tells GlobeSt.com the annual asking rent for the space was $4.2 million.

The three-level store, with ground level at the base of the 1.1-million-square-foot office tower, is scheduled to open sometime this summer, says Zelnik, president of Zelnik & Co. Taking advantage of the location’s visibility, Sephora plans to incorporate an undulating sign with animations.

Zelnik says the space was vacant due to the bankruptcy of Times Square Brewery, its former tenant. AVR acquired 5 Times Square from Boston Properties for $1.3 billion in early 2007 and subsequently negotiated a mutually beneficial termination with leaseholder Disney. This gave AVR the leeway to market the location, and Zelnik says “we went out to traditional retailers as well as exploring branding opportunities for corporate tenants.”

Due to its configuration, the space was going to be multi-level regardless of the tenant that took it, but Zelnik says having it on three levels was not set in stone. “The mezzanine level might have come out, depending on the tenant,” he says. In the event, Sephora opted to stay with the three-level format and will incorporate it into its build-out for the retail space, which is intended to integrate the Times Square image, as well as Sephora’s. The space will house product lines not found in any other Sephora store, according to a release.

Zelnik worked with AVR COO Jeffrey Gansberg on negotiating the deal. Madison Retail Group’s Virginia Pittarelli and Chris DeCrosta, principal and VP, respectively, acted on behalf of Sephora.

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