Nike Signs Blockbuster Lease on Fifth Avenue

SL Green signed a lease with the sports apparel giant, which will open a huge flagship store on the southwest corner of West 52 Street, across from Cartier and Olympic Tower.

By Veronica Grecu

New York—SL Green Realty Corp. last week secured one of the most expensive retail leases in the world’s most expensive retail corridor, in a 50-50 joint venture with Wharton Properties’ Jeff Sutton.

650 Fifth Avenue
650 Fifth Avenue

The partnership signed a 15-year lease for the entire retail portion at 650 Fifth Ave. with Nike, which had been exploring new location opportunities for at least three years. The lease starts at nearly $35 million and is worth a combined $700 million over the term, The Real Deal reported. Cushman & Wakefield represented Nike in the deal.

Nike will occupy 69,214 square feet of space covering seven floors at the 36-story office building that sits next to Rockefeller Center. According to the Commercial Observer, the sports apparel giant will pay $4,000 for the 7,000-square-foot ground floor.

“We are excited about this partnership and look forward to continuing to bring consumers the very best of Nike in another new, unique brand experience store,” said in a prepared statement Jeff Nichols, vice president of Nike’s Direct to Consumer business in North America.

While this new lease is indicative of Nike’s commitment to grow in the city, it is still not clear whether the retailer will relocate from its existing Niketown New York located at 6 E. 57th St., right next to Trump Tower.

Built in 1978, the 395,000-square-foot office building at 650 Fifth Ave. was designed by John Carl Warnecke & Associates for an Iranian non-profit organization controlled by the then-shah of Iran. Back in 2013, SL Green Realty and Jeff Sutton acquired a 49-year lease hold for the existing 30,000 square feet of retail space covering the basement through the third floor at the office building. The joint venture went on to increase the building’s retail component to nearly 70,000 square feet by purchasing two other retailers out of their leases here, the Commercial Observer reported.

Major office tenants at 650 Fifth Ave. include Integrated Media, Citigroup, Delta Bank, Kurt Salmon Associates, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Sterling National Bank, Williams Capital, Doris Duke, Secure Identity, Eastbay Asset Management and many others.

Image courtesy of Design Bureau