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Deals & Dealmakers

Kaufman signs a trendsetter for Madison Square Portfolio

The Kaufman Organization announced that it has secured the first lease at its newly rebranded Madison Square Portfolio in Midtown South.

Pondicheri, a Texas-based Indian restaurant that specializes in bold Indian fusion cuisine, has signed a 15-year, 3,363 s/f lease for the ground floor space at 15 West 27th Street.

The restaurant’s new space — its first New York City location — has a renovated storefront and skylights spanning the rear of the premises.

15 West 27th Street
15 West 27th Street

The space’s interior is construction-ready and features 20-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling casement windows and access to the basement, which can serve as both storage and a prep kitchen.

“A tenant like Pondicheri becomes a brand beacon for the NoMad neighborhood, as our team has worked tirelessly to curate retail and office tenants that not only blend with Midtown South’s creative vibe, but bring something unique to the neighborhood,” said Michael Heaner, partner at the Kaufman Organization.

“With this transaction closed significantly ahead of our capital improvement schedule, we are focused on renting our other location on the block, 45 West 27th Street, to a similar trend-setting concept.”

Since acquiring the Madison Square Portfolio — a group of four properties across NoMad and Flatiron — in April 2014, the Kaufman Organization has launched a capital improvements campaign in an effort to attract New York City’s top creative, tech, new media tenants, and premier retailers and restaurateurs.

Kaufman’s marketing team, led by Jessica Kosaric, launched a parallax scrolling website, and created interactive social media pages where brokers and potential tenants could follow the progress of the work.

At 15 West 27th Street, 19 West 24th Street and 45 West 27th Street, architecture and design firm,, Design Republic is transforming the buildings’ public spaces into works of art.

Each office space is open and customizable to meet the needs of the 21st century tenant. Upon entering each property, office tenants and visitors will be greeted by custom-designed, illuminated, three-dimensional wooden fins that use Computer Numerical Controlled fabrications that create a sense of motion as people pass by.

Other lobby features include oversized oil-rubbed textured steel logos displaying each building’s address, recessed colored LED fixtures and poured Terrazzo floors.

Michael Heaner
Michael Heaner

The Kaufman Organization put a special emphasis on the redesign and upgrade of the Madison Square Portfolio’s elevators. Each building will feature glassed elevators that reveal shafts transformed into canvasses with custom art or branded graffiti.

Kaufman is installing high-definition security systems and “smart meters” that allow tenants to monitor electricity consumption and receive alerts if there is significant usage after-hours.

Tenants in all buildings will be given HID cards that they will swipe in the elevators for access to their respective floors. The firm is also partnering with BCM, a telecommunications provider, to ensure 24/7 access to high-speed broadband and redundant connectivity.

Other improvements include upgrading plumbing, new boilers, sprinkler and electrical systems and installing secure telecommunications risers.

The asking rent for the retail space was in the $130spsfrange.

Grant Greenspan, Michael Heaner and Jessica Kosaric represented the landlord, West 20’s Leasehold Holdings, in partnership with the Kaufman Organization. Pondicheri was represented by Leslie Siben and Benjamin Kahr of LB Realty Services.

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