Zelnik to lease 5 Times Square

Date Published: 
Jun 27, 2007

A few months ago after starting his own retail brokerage firm, Cory Zelnik is back to handling large deals. Last week, Zelnik was hired by 5 Times Square's new landlord, AVR Realty Company, to lease roughly 13,000 SF of vacant retail space on the building's first three floors

The space had formerly been occupied by the Times Square Brewery until the restaurant went bankrupt. Disney then purchased the lease last year for a possible retail location, but a store never materialized and the company recently terminated its deal.

Its past troubles aside Zelnik said that the space is among the best located in Times Square and would be a draw to corporate tenants interested in the branding and marketing opportunity that having a retail location in the district has come to represent. Amplifying this is a 500 SF sign above the space, which in the past been marketed separately, but that Zelnik and the landlord are now including in the lease as an added amenity to the space.

"In the past, that was something that the landlord would rent to a third party in a separate deal," Zelnik said. "But AVR knows that a lot of tenants will look at the sign and see it as a tremendous addition to their space."

Zelnik is no stranger to large retail deals. Before starting his own firm he worked as an executive vice president at the well known Manhattan retail brokerage firm, Winick Realty. At Winick, he specialized in representing large corporate tenants and in partnership with Winick's founder, Jeff Winick, was the exclusive leasing agent for Duane Reade and Blockbuster Video. Winick and Zelnik also handled leasing for Starbucks in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.

He also has experience doing similar deals in Times Square. Five years ago, he handled Chase Manhattan Bank's 12,000 SF lease at 3 Times Square. That deal also included the bank's decision to lease the building's massive 1,500 SF electronic sign.

Whereas his business used to focus on both tenant and landlord representation, Zelnik estimated that right now about 70% of his work is with landlords. In addition to 5 Times Square, he said that he has been tapped to handle leasing for a pair of retail spaces in two residential buildings, one in Chelsea and the other in TriBeCa.

Regarding the ratio of tenant to landlord work he said "I hope to have it balanced soon. That's the goal."

The ground floor space at 5 Times Square is around 6,000 SF and has dramatic 30-foot ceilings. The second floor is 5,300 SF and 20-foot ceilings.

The sign outside is large enough to qualify as a Times Square spectacular, a designation given to the large colorful signs that help lend the district its character as a center of entertainment and business. Zelnik said that the space at 5 Times Square is suited for a single occupant. Having just received the assignment, he said thathe could only speculate what kind of tenant could fill the space.

"It's a statement location" Zelnik said. "We're sending out the marketing brochures to a host of different companies."

Real Estate Weekly