By Al Barbarino
Adams & Co. Real Estate, LLC has been named exclusive leasing agent for three buildings owned by Hilson Management Corp., further stretching the firm’s hold on the ever-tight, Midtown South leasing market.
The buildings comprise 350,000 s/f of office space at 385 Fifth Ave., 390 Fifth Ave., and 5 West 37th Street.
The firm handles leasing in 27 other buildings in Midtown and Midtown South and has represented Hilson Management Corp.’s tenants in prior transactions before their partnership was formed, said Jeff Buslik, who will market the buildings along with Brett Harvey and Staci Goodman.
“The buildings offer stable ownership in a prime location, enabling tenants to attract both local and out-of-town clients,” Buslik said.
Known as the Accessory and Jewelry Mart, 385 Fifth Ave. is a 16-floor, 110,000 s/f building constructed in 1929. Tenants include Collection 18, Guess Watches, Carolee, and Timex, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Vitamin Shoppe.
The nine-floor, 135,000 s/f building at 390 Fifth Ave. was constructed in 1903, the last project by renowned architect Stanford White. Tenants include Haskell Jewels, M.Z. Berger, B. Robinson Eyewear, City Sports and W Café.
There are five and four spaces respectively vacant in the two avenue buildings, with rents in the $40 psf range, Buslik said.
Tenants at the 12-story, 105,000 s/f building at 5 West 37th Street, built in 1921, include the Institute for International Education, Bourne Company Music Publishers and Global Employment Solutions. The one vacant floor is likely to fetch rents in the $30’s, Buslik said.
Midtown South had another blockbuster month of 560,000 s/f of leasing activity in May, crushing the five-year monthly average of 320,000 s/f, according to the latest data from CBRE.
There has been 2.12 million square feet of leasing activity year-to-date, on par with 2011, as the availability rate remained stable at 9.1 percent and average asking rents increased by four percent to $51.23 psf.
“Rents have gone up over the last few months and I wish I had more buildings to take advantage of those rents,” said Jack Hidary, CEO at Hidrock Realty, which owns and manages several buildings in the heart of Midtown South.
While companies with a stake in the area aren’t seeing any signs that the market will slow any time soon, they working to keep an edge amid fierce competition.
Hidrock’s “M.O.” is to buy and immediately renovate buildings, Hidary said.
“Even though they’re on side streets, they’re run as if they’re avenue buildings,” he said.
“We only buy buildings that we can add value to. When I buy a building it may be a C+ building, but when we’re finished with it, it becomes a B+ building.
“Most of our buildings are nearly full and vacancies are slim,” he added. “We are on a first-name basis with many of the tenants on the block and we always bend over backwards to try and keep a tenant.”