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Retail brokers create silk purse from sow’s ear

Winick Realty Group helped a Nolita property owner turn an eyesore into a haven for the artsy set.

Executive vice president Darrell Rubens and colleague Lee Block counselled landlord Samy Mahfar to turn the ground floor apartments are 22 Spring Street into shops.

“Landlord Samy Mahfar made a substantial investment to refurbish what had previously been an eyesore on the block,” said Rubens.


“He re-faced the building and created retail space at the base in order to make the block and the building a better fit for the neighborhood.”

Rubens and Block worked with Mahfar at every step of the leasing process, consulting with him as he designed the retail storefronts, installed new floors and restored the exposed brick walls in the spaces.

While they had several offers on the table, ownership ultimately decided to lease the two 700 s/f retail spaces to Paint Box, an art gallery and custom framing store with five other Manhattan locations, and The Clay Pot, a boutique jewelry store with one location in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

“Samy felt that these uses were the best fits for the neighborhood,” said Rubens. “They are upscale, clean and lively new additions to the block.”

Winick Realty Group’s Matthew Ball represented Paint Box, which is opening in October, and also assisted Rubens and Block in representing Mahfar in The Clay Pot lease.

The Clay Pot, which will be open in time for the holiday season, was represented by Andrew Mendel and Lindsay Charles of Ripco.
Asking rent for each space was $14,000 per month, according to Winick.

Average asking rents in neighboring SoHo have soared to $890 per square foot, according to the last REBNY retail report.

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