H&M Takes 63 KSF Flagship Spot at Re-Envisioned Herald Center in NYC

JEMB Realty's long-held vision for Herald Center, its 250,000-square-foot office and retail property at the intersection of 34th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, is coming to fruition. The 10-story tower has landed fashion retailer H&M for occupancy of a prominent 63,000-square-foot wraparound retail space under a 25-year lease agreement.

Herald Center

JEMB Realty’s long-held vision for Herald Center, its 250,000-square-foot office and retail property at the intersection of 34th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, is coming to fruition. With exclusive leasing agent CBRE Group Inc. at the helm, the 10-story tower has landed fashion retailer H&M for occupancy of a prominent 63,000-square-foot wraparound retail space under a 25-year lease agreement.

It’s a big deal for JEMB, and not a small step for H&M; the new flagship store will be the international retailer’s third address in New York City and its largest in the world. It picked the right place. “Today 34th Street is one of the most important shopping streets–it has national and international tenants and it continues to be one of the stronger streets for retail in New York City,” Susan Kurland, executive vice president, Retail Services, with CBRE, told Commercial Property Executive.

JEMB, which has owned the 31-year-old Herald Center since 1986, is doing its part to further solidify the retail stretch’s reputation. The company took one of its first major steps in the long-planned transformation of Herald Center in May when it signed tenant ASA College to an office lease renewal and expansion that relocated the school’s digs from the first three floors to floors four through seven, thereby paving the way for the multi-million-dollar recladding of the building. The first three floors of Herald Center will have a bold new façade and the next seven floors will be paneled with L.E.D. displays. “It’s going to be really spectacular what ownership is doing in conjunction with H&M; the exterior is going to be phenomenal,” Kurland said.

When all is said and done, the high-profile intersection in the Herald Square submarket will feature Macy’s on one corner, Victoria’s Secret and the Gap on two others, and H&M. All will benefit from a recent change to the street: the shutting down of vehicular traffic. “So right in front of those four corners of very strong retail, it’s only for pedestrians,” Kurland added.

“Traditionally, it’s a street where people make money, and you can’t say that for all the important corridors around New York,” Kurland said. “H&M is one of the smartest retailers around; they wouldn’t open again another store if they weren’t making money. They don’t do things for branding purposes only; their stores make money.”

And there seems to be no end in sight to the growth of Herald Square’s prominence as a leading Manhattan retail destination.

“It’s an area that’s growing and getting stronger with new development that’s going to follow along that corridor, so everybody’s seeing this as a strong retail market that’s evolving and getting stronger,” Kurland concluded.

The H&M store at Herald Center is on track for a fall 2014 debut.