Unlike many retail leasing investors, Kevin Chisholm of 60 Guilders, a private equity firm specializing in real estate, is confident on the revenue-earning capabilities of Soho retail. He pointed out that the Soho area is the sole outdoor shopping zone with the important mass of about 600 stores. The mass market and premier stores lie next to each other, thus drawing a varied crowd. There is something available for everyone and anyone to buy. The stores can expect shoppers of all profiles. Chisholm is the co-founder and managing partner of the private equity firm.
Betting on positivity
Chisholm's 60 Guilders owns a massive office space measuring two million square feet in THE metro area and also in industrial properties. It also owns substantial square feet of apartment space. When it comes to Soho, the company has the modest holding of 26,884 square feet. The company has the backing of a number of institutional partners like Carlyle Group. It spent about $125 million to acquire store spaces at prime locations in Soho. These acquisitions were made over the space of a few years. One of its latest acquisitions was snapping up 3,200 square feet at the 121 Spring Street address. It paid $28 million to acquire the space. These acquisitions happened even though the retail leasing scene went through a stagnant period. Huge vacancies are seen on nearly every block of the Broadway located between the Houston Street and Canal Street. A comprehensive calculation made by The Real Deal found about 3.5 million square feet vacant in the retail arena. It comes to a substantial 16.3 percent of the total space.
Chisholm's critics have said that he has overpaid for what he bought. He disagrees, saying that an extra perspective is required. To prove his point, he said that two of the properties he had bought- the 4,135 square feet at Spring Street and 6,400 square feet at 133 Greene Street have already been taken by Valentino and Dior respectively. He points out that all locations he purchased are unique.
According to CBRE, the median asking rents for the ground floor spaces to make stores vary from $588 to $828 per square foot. Chisholm's properties are rented out at $1,000 per square foot both on Broadway and Spring Street. They are positioned at sidewalk level and occupy prime corners. The company's properties also have lengthier sidewalk frontages.