By Joe Aquino, President, JAACRES
When Barneys New York department store closed in 2020, we saw a dramatic relocation of luxury retail stores on Madison Avenue to the south, apparently with the common goal of establishing better proximity to East 57th Street. Before that event, many luxury brands enjoyed a store within a store at Barneys, in addition to another store in the corridor, usually further north in the city.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, this stretch of Madison Avenue was so tight on space that we saw East 59th Street, a major side street, securing tenants like Dior, Bathing Ape, and Balmain.
During the lockdown phases of the pandemic, retail vacancies increased dramatically, even in the most desirable areas. Now, post-pandemic, we see spaces along Madison Avenue filled with new and established luxury retailers ready to make a statement. Here are some of the key transactions that have recently been completed or are ongoing:
- Givenchy just left its cozy rooms at 749 Madison Ave. on the southeast corner of 65th Street for the southeast corner at 625 Madison Ave. Versace will open at the Givenchy location this fall.
- Wolford, a maker of luxury seamless hosiery, took over the Lalique store at 607 Madison Ave. between 57th and 58th streets.
- Richemont-owned luxury French fashion house Chloé just closed a deal at 715 Madison Ave. between 63rd and 64th streets. The tenant will be up against merchants like Graff, Etro and Beretta.
- Kiton is moving from its old townhome location at 4 East 54th St. to 692 Madison Ave. between 62nd and 63rd. Kiton’s Neapolitan-style menswear and womenswear will now have complementary neighbors: Hermès and Jimmy Choo.
- Ben Soleimani has just leased the former Tourneau space at 601 Madison Ave. between 57th and 58th Streets. Soleimani will showcase his highly stylized rugs with their remarkable weaves and textures in a prominent contemporary setting.
- Carl F. Bucherer, the Swiss watchmaker founded in 1888, has taken over all of Tourneau’s Manhattan space and now offers a full-service bar at its flagship store at 590 Madison Ave. Bucherer is an authorized Rolex dealer and can acquire practically any luxury. watch brand
- John Knits has relocated from the Rolex Building at 665 Fifth Ave. to 655 Madison Ave. between 60th and 61st Streets. St. John Knits has long been a favorite of professional women, combining the finest fabrics, the most vibrant colors and tasteful fashion sense in finely tailored garments.
- Hermès, originally a manufacturer of saddles, has become a leader in French fashion. The operation is moving its flagship New York location from one side of Madison Avenue to the other (from 691 to 700, on the southeast corner of 63rd Street).
- Berluti, originally a shoemaker, now dresses the most fashionable man from head to toe. Berluti recently moved from 677 Madison Ave. to the Fuller Brush Building at 595 Madison Ave., with storefronts facing 57th Street.
- Christofle, which specializes in high-end silverware, and Fendi, which is known for its fabulous furs, ready-to-wear and accessories, have taken up locations in the same building, also with storefronts facing 57th Street with Fendi securing the corner space. Fendi moved out of 598 Madison Ave., a store she had occupied for more than 15 years, and moved across the street. Christofle traveled a bit further, arriving downtown from 846 Madison Ave.
- Joining the excitement in this building is tie maker Stefano Ricci, recently relocated from a 15-year sojourn on Park Avenue. Now, the Ricci showcase will be next to the Four Seasons Hotel.
- Vacheron Constantin, one of the oldest Swiss watch brands that was founded in 1755, recently moved from 729 to 575 Madison Ave., with a store facing 57th Street, alongside another watchmaker, Breitling. Breitling has taken over another store in the Meatpacking District, at 875 Washington St., taking up nearly 4,000 square feet.
- Chopard moved from 709 Madison Ave. to the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, across from Tiffany’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Instead, Richemont has secured the corner of Lange & Söhne, and Jaegar-LeCoultre will double its current size at this property and take on the new Hermes flagship store when it opens that boutique.
- Richemont’s Panerai has secured Roberto Cavalli’s former space at 711 Madison on the northwest corner of 63rd Street. The tenant’s store will be in front of the new Hermes store, diagonally.
- French fashion designer Isabel Marant, who won the Fashion Award, secured the former Berluti store at 675 Madison Ave.
- Seamen Schepps has moved from a corner of Park Avenue and 58th Street to 824 Madison Ave. at the southwest corner of 69th Street, bringing its centuries-old tradition of diamonds and colored stones to the corridor.
- ADEAM purchased 770 Madison Ave. for $31 million in August 2018; the neighborhood awaits the store’s grand opening.
- Manolo Blahnik recently left his former home at 31 West 54th St., making way for Sarah Jessica Parker’s ready-to-wear collection, and opened a separate women’s and men’s store at 717 Madison Ave. between 63rd and 64.
- Brunello Cucinelli has expanded within the same building. The company originally leased Bally Shoes and later also took over the Georg Jensen store. Cucinelli customers are known for their loyalty; therefore, Cucinelli now has a store with about 80 feet of avenue frontage.
- Graff has done very well at his flagship store at 710 Madison Ave., on the northwest corner of 63rd Street, and has also secured control of the building next door (712 Madison Avenue). Buccellati and DeBeers are direct neighbors of Graff.
- Ice Blue, a division of Mirabella, a women’s boutique featuring European designs, leased a second store at 1339 Madison Ave. between 93rd and 94th streets. Its flagship store is a block south. In the same building, Collette will bring her fabulous consignment luxury furniture store (which furnishes many mansions in the Hamptons) to the affluent residences of Upper Madison Avenue in Carnegie Hill.
- Nardos has taken over 807 Madison Ave. between 68th and 69th streets, where designer Nardos Imam will showcase her fabulous line of bridal and evening couture alongside her ready-to-wear collection.
- Aston Martin will display its prestigious cars in a showroom on the ground floor of 450 Park Ave. at the southwest corner of 57th Street, in space previously occupied by Phillips Auction and a few steps north of the Ferrari showroom. Bank United has taken over the top of 450 Park Avenue. Phillips Auction moved an adjacent building.
- P. Journe, formerly located at 723 Madison Ave., will be moving to a townhouse at 53 Mercer St. in the vibrant heart of SoHo.
- Mango (founded in Barcelona, Spain) has taken over the Ralph Lauren Polo store at 711 Fifth Ave. on the northeast corner of 55th Street. The tenant will occupy more than 23,000 square feet on three levels. The “fast fashion” merchant will join his neighbors Zara, Uniglo and Hollister on a quest to beautify men, women and children.
Some notable building sales in 2021-2022 are as follows, courtesy of CoStar Group:
- 829 Madison: $17.5 million – January 2022
- 824 Madison: $12.5 million – February 2021
- 712 Madison: 43 million – January 2021
- 818 Madison: $17 million – December 2021
JAACRES is a boutique commercial real estate brokerage firm. President Joseph Aquino has more than 35 years of experience in the luxury retail market.