The contemporary furniture store Modani is moving to the traditional decorator area centered on Bloomingdales and the various design buildings.
Now at 40 E. 19th St. in the Flatiron District, the Italian furniture company has just signed a 9,876 square-foot lease for the entire five-story townhouse at 942 Third Ave., where it will create a new flagship.
Joanne Podell, Brandon Singer and Mary Clayton of Cushman & Wakefield represented the building ownership, Naomi and Andre Altholz.
Podell is also marketing the owners’ adjacent 950 Third Ave., right on the southwest corner of E. 57th Street. That building has 200 feet of wraparound glass frontage encompassing a double height, 22-foot-tall ground floor of 6,000 square feet and a 2,000 square-foot storage mezzanine.
The asking rent for the corner is $300 per foot.
“Furniture is a destination-driven product,” said Podell, who years ago owned her own chain of contemporary furniture stores. In this area of the city, “they have critical mass,” she explained.
Along with the area’s design buildings, nearby furniture stores include Design Within Reach, B&B Italia, Holly Hunt, Roche Bobois, CB2, Jensen-Lewis, BoConcept, Ethan Allen and Cassina.
“There are more such tenants looking for space than the design buildings can accommodate,” observed Kim Mogull of Mogull Realty.
Given the robust demand, Mogull is exploring the creation of a boutique showroom building within 136 E. 57th St., with a private entrance along Lexington Avenue.
“We can make available up to 20,000 square feet of contiguous space,” she said. “It’s an ideal showroom building between the D&D (Decoration and Design building at 979 Third) and the A&D, (150 E. 58th St.),” Mogull said. “The bones of the building lend themselves to furniture showrooms with high ceilings, large windows that wrap the corner of 57th and Lex, and 5,900 square-foot floor plates above.”
Situated on the southeast corner of Lexington Avenue, the ground floor of 3,500 square feet, along with the lower level and second floor, can also be leased to a single high-profile retailer, she said.
No asking rent is available, Mogull explained, because, while flexible, the final number will depend on the configuration of each deal.