Press Mentions


Harlem Project May Lure Big Store


By: A. D. Pruitt

June 10th, 2010

Kimco Realty Corp. says it plans to proceed with a stalled Harlem development as the shopping-center developer has found interest among several big-box retailers looking to lease space on the site.

The company, based in New Hyde Park, N.Y., had been considering pulling out of the planned retail project at 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. But Kimco has had a change of heart in recent weeks because leasing interest from retailers has intensified.

“The possibility of developing that site is much higher today than it was last year,” David Henry, chief executive officer of Kimco said during an interview at a conference sponsored by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts in Chicago. He declined to identify the retailers that have expressed an interest in the site.

Harlem’s 125th Street enjoyed a retail renaissance about 10 years ago with several projects attracting national retailers like Marshalls, Men’s Warehouse and AMC Magic Johnson Theatres. But the pace slowed even while the real-estate boom was continuing, partly because it was difficult for developers to assemble sites in prime locations large enough to attract national chains.

And then the recession hit. “Harlem is no different from Union Square, SoHo or anywhere else,” says Benjamin Fox, president of Winnick Realty Group. “The economy has taken its toll.

Kimco and its joint-venture partner, Sigfeld Group LLC, acquired the 110-year-old building on 125th in 2007 for $30 million. The venture hopes to develop a three-story retail complex with 60,000 square feet of
space. But with the development project’s delay, the building today sits nearly empty, with most of the storefronts dark and boarded up.

The venture ran into trouble soon after it purchased the property when it tried to evict tenants, some of which had been popular with locals for decades. Five tenants also sued the developers alleging unfair relocation tactics. Under a settlement, the tenants receiving more than $1 million, according to the tenants’ lawyer, Adam Leitman Bailey.

Mr. Henry said Kimco is aiming to complete the project toward the end of 2011, adding that major retailers are interested in Harlem again due to an improving economy. “Harlem has always been an intriguing area because of its density and population,” he said.

Harlem also offers tax benefits and other incentives to retailers and others that locate there through the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.

Related Content

The first thing that he did was he led us to believe that we could win the case, where others had literally said ‘Hey, forget it, you’re out, you’re done. You can’t do this … Adam Leitman Bailey’s firm approached politicians. We had people come to talk, the TV media, the networks were there; they actually filmed this and it actually made the news!” How We Met Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., The Eviction Notice, Why We Hate Lawyers, Finding an “Excellent” and “Trustworthy” Lawyer The Victories, The Multi-Million Dollar Settlement, “Standing Up For What You Believe In” “Finding an “Excellent” and “Trustworthy” Lawyer” – V.W. and J.M. “Adam, his persistence and determination certainly didn’t stop.” – D.G. Using Victory in Court, Proposing Legislation, Conducting Rallys, and Mobilizing Political Support and Media Attention, Save Harlem Association Obtains Winning & Avoids Settlement Harlem Businesses Settle Suit Against Kimco Developers Back Off on Grand Harlem Plans Will Harlem lose its soul? Real Estate Developers Are Major Rangel Donors Landmarking the Black cultural capital of the world Should All of 125th Street Be Declared Historic Work screeches to a halt on Kimco’s Harlem development NYers head to court to save their business Community Pressure Wins Lease Extension Face-Off Along 125th Street: Rezoning battle: gentrification fears vs. economic gains Jackie Halpern Weinstein Speaks in the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building Before Manhattan Community Board 10 on Zoning and Land Use Issues With Respect to the Redevelopment of New York City’s Harlem Media Rallys to Save Harlem Media Rallys to Save Harlem

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.