NGKF Tapped to Lead Retail Leasing at NYC’s Grand Central Terminal

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank has won one of the most coveted retail leasing assignments at one of the best-known sites in the country: Grand Central Terminal.

Grand Central

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank has won one of the most coveted retail leasing assignments at one of the best-known sites in the country: Grand Central Terminal. NGKF was recently chosen by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to oversee leasing of the 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space at the historic property.

The tenant roster is completely full at the century-old Grand Central, and therein lies the challenge for NGKF.

“Everybody wants to stay and everybody wants to be there,” Mitch Friedel, executive vice president with NGKF, told Commercial Property Executive. “Because of the success of tenants, when leases turnover nobody wants to leave.”

Having a space at this famed location is about as good a guarantee of success any retailer could have. It all boils down to foot traffic, and Grand Central welcomes approximately 750,000 commuters, residents and both national and international tourists daily. And there’s more to come. As Friedel pointed out, leading Manhattan office landlord SL Green is planning to develop One Vanderbilt, a 1.6 million-square-foot office tower, across from Grand Central and expects to invest in excess of $100 million in transit infrastructure to improve access to the terminal. Additionally, the Long Island Rail Road is coming.

“Grand Central is unique, for sure, and it’s only getting stronger,” Friedel added. “There’s going to be so much more visitor traffic when these changes go into effect in a few years.”

With occupants eager to hold onto the Grand Central address, an RFP process is in place for both current and prospective tenants to bid on space.

“Our role is to provide options for MTA to consider when space rolls over, and we want to give them the most comprehensive list of top retailers and restaurateurs; we want to provide a full array of options globally and nationally,” Friedel concluded.

MTA’s selection of NGKF for the Grand Central leasing assignment comes more than one year after the agency released an RFP for the job. There was more than a little competition, but NGKF’s history with major New York City retail projects undoubtedly gave the commercial real estate services firm an edge.