By Liana Grey
Last week, Zach Winkler, a director at RKF, arranged two leases for Off the Wall Frozen Yogurt, a self-serve chain based in Long Island with a Manhattan flagship in Midtown East.
By securing space for its second and third shops in the Big Apple — one will be located in a 2,000 s/f storefront at 248 West 23rd Street in Chelsea and the other in a 1,700 s/f space at 4 West 14th Street near Union Square — Off the Wall has joined the ranks of several purveyors of low-fat ice-cream alternatives looking to expand in the New York area.
“Off the Wall Frozen Yogurt is aggressively expanding, and wanted to build its presence in Manhattan, where premium frozen yogurt has become popular among gourmets, health-nuts and families alike,” said Winkler, who represented the tenant.
Large yogurt manufacturers and startups alike are vying for space.
The Yogurt Culture Company, an affiliate of Dannon, recently opened a café serving both fresh and frozen yogurt at SL Green’s 125 Park Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets. And about a month ago, Faith Hope Consolo, Joe Aquino, and Arthur Maglio of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s retail group, brought Pa-Paya Seed, a brand-new restaurant specializing in low-fat, sugar free frozen yogurt, to 171 Lenox Avenue in Harlem.
“We thrive on bringing new businesses to Harlem that offer lifestyle amenities, as well as services,” said Consolo, who along with Aquino and Maglio represented both the tenant and landlord. “It’s another example of food as fashion and will add much to the retail mix along the Avenue.”
Founded by Wall Street veteran Quintano Downes, Pa-Paya Seed is designing its space in the style of a “high class but affordableˮ European coffee house.
It’s surrounded by a handful of restaurants, including Red Rooster, Chez Lucienne and Ristorante Settepani.
“This will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, along with the new eateries, beer gardens, wine bars and shops that call Harlem home,” said Maglio.
Frozen yogurt is becoming hot in the suburbs, too. Since launching in Clifton, NJ, two years ago, Cups frozen yogurt, a beach-themed chain offering 18 flavors and 50 toppings, has expanded across northern New Jersey, to places like Paramus, Bridgewater and Bayonne. The company opened its eighth outpost at Harmon Meadow in Secaucus earlier this month, and has leased retail space in South Plainfield, NJ – where another frozen yogurt company, Let’s Go Yogurt, recently opened — as well as Yonkers in Westchester County and Carle Place in Nassau County.
With its dance music, couches, and club-like vibe, Cups has become a popular gathering spot for teenagers and adults alike.
“We are thrilled that they are moving in and know that in addition to great frozen yogurt, they will also bring a lot of new visitors to enjoy the fine dining, shopping and entertainment that the Harmon Meadow shopping complex offers,” said Emanuel Stern, president and chief operating officer for Hartz Mountain Industries.
The co-op board at 248 West 23rd Street was represented by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank director Trever Gallina and associate Aaron Cukier, and in the 14th Street deal, landlord Ozymandius Realty was represented in-house.