The newest design for former CBRE EVP Jay Luchs isn’t Chanel or Hermès, it’s Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. A leading national retail expert who specializes in serving the high-end fashion houses as well as the entertainment industry, Mr. Luchs is joining NGKF’s burgeoning retail division under Neal Golden to cater to the firm’s significantly growing roster of national and international retail clients. A bicoastal adviser he will work closely with Jeffrey D. Roseman, who has spearheaded the retail group in New York and grown it to its No. 1 position.
“Name any fashion house and bets are very good that Jay has had a hand in assisting that company,” said Mr. Golden, the U.S. head of NGKF’s Hospitality, Consumer and Retail Innovations group. “To say that he is well-connected is an understatement.”
Mr. Luchs has been involved with some of the most prominent leasing and sales deals in Los Angeles in the last decade, and represents runway royalty: LVMH brands Céline, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, as well as Lanvin, Missoni, Isabel Marant and Bottega Veneta, among others. Just prior to joining NGKF, he negotiated the $85 million sale of 319-323 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, representing both buyer and seller.
Mr. Luchs resumé of representing the who’s who of international fashion kicked off when he spotted a vacant corner space on Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Blvd in 2003. The former Tommy Hilfiger store sat empty for three years on L.A.’s most prominent shopping boulevard. He went after the listing and was hired to sublease the space on behalf of Tommy Hilfiger, and quickly leased it to Brooks Brothers. Mr. Luchs has since come to dominate retail leasing in L.A.’s most highly sought after areas, whether its Rodeo Drive, the Melrose Avenue corridor, Brentwood or Malibu.
“That’s how I got my start in representing fashion brands,” he says now, looking back.
Now, Mr. Luchs spends his days crossing the country from L.A. to New York’s fashion mecca and other top major retail markets such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Miami and Chicago, implementing growth strategies for high-end fashion retailers and designers, as well as landlords. While fashion and luxury brands are his known niche, Mr. Luchs deftly handles retail roll outs and expansions for companies like SoulCycle, which is currently adding locations throughout Los Angeles. His versatility and experience have given rise to office requirements for Rachel Zoe and The Gersh Agency, and strategic relocations for expanding brands like the Kardashians’ DASH label.
“I am thrilled that Jay is joining us,” said Jeffrey D. Roseman, executive vice president and principal of NGKF Retail. “His reputation as a dealmaker is second to none and he, along with several new additions to our southern and northern California retail teams, catapult us to a dominant retail position on the West Coast, complementing NGKF’s longstanding dominance on the East Coast.”
Mr. Luchs’ expansive footprint and rolodex are key ingredients to NGKF Retail’s strategy to grow its distinctive retail property services that melds the traditional hands-on customer service with its modern proprietary technology. For example, the group’s strategic approach includes utilizing state-of-the-art GIS systems that analyze customer habits, competitor locations, car and foot traffic, local incomes and sales potential.
“Our NGKF Hospitality, Consumer and Retail Innovations execs, along with our creative partners Branded Cities and GoldRun, distinctly provide the most comprehensive and dynamic solutions for any type of retailer looking for a competitive edge,” added Mr. Golden.
In addition to strategic retail advisory, the combined platform of NGKF, its affiliates and partners includes a wide spectrum of services such as site selection and feasibility analysis, appraisal, acquisition due diligence, joint venture equity raising, mortgage finance, property and facilities management, investment sales and more.
“I was very impressed by the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in catering to its clients,” said Mr. Luchs. “That customized and forward-thinking attention is what my clients look for. They are cutting-edge individuals and companies looking for fresh solutions.
“Also, I have known Mike Arnold, who co-heads the West L.A. office, where I will be based, for nearly 15 years,” Mr. Luchs added. “The NGKF company culture is a perfect fit and I am thrilled to be a part of this fast-growing, dynamic firm.”
Before joining NGKF as an executive vice president, Mr. Luchs spent 12 years at CBRE, most recently as an executive vice president. He garnered numerous company awards there, and consistently ranked among the Top 5 Retail Professionals nationally during the last five years. His first taste of the business came during his days in the mailroom at one of the Washington, D.C. metro area’s oldest and largest full-service real estate firms, Shannon & Luchs Company, a company his great-grandfather started in 1906 and which his father helped continue to grow, serving as President and CEO until its sale in 1993.
Mr. Luchs, a graduate of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and Malibu Chamber of Commerce.
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