Why Is Every Landlord Hiring Chris Owles To Find A Retail Tenant?

We all know Soho has a huge number of retail vacancies.  The Real Deal reported 95 empty stores in January, but that number is probably higher now.  The blocks between Prince and Broome on Wooster Street & Greene Street have 3+ empty stores in a row in some parts.

Walking down Spring and Broome Street, Chris Owles / Sinvin is on the vacant retail spaces of so many spaces:

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When you are marketing so many spaces, what incentive does Chris have to sell YOUR retail space?

Why would a landlord choose a retail broker that has no incentive to market your space when they are marketing 20+ other spaces?

If I was a landlord, I would want to find someone whose main objective is to find a tenant for MY space, especially since there are over 95 empty spaces in Soho…the competition is fierce!

Most of these lots are 25X100 with basement spaces…what makes one different than the next?

I’m sure Chris is aware of many retailers LOOKING for space, but there has to be an incentive to actually get those retailers to pick YOUR space.

It makes sense that Thor Equities markets all the spaces they own – a significant number in Soho, so they can capture 50% of the broker fee, but as a landlord, I would pick a retail broker whose main objective is to lease MY space, not one of 20 similar spaces!

Just my food for thought.

I’ve heard Chris Owles knows every landlord in Soho and that he is a nice person (I have never personally met him) so I hope this post doesn’t come across as a slam against him / his profession.

As a residential real estate agent, if I had 20 properties in Soho for sale, at least each floor of a factory building is significantly different than the next.  But …a retail store pretty much has the same ceiling height& light throughout the neighborhood and are delivered as a blank canvas “white box”.

  • The second floor always has higher ceilings than the top floor, but the top floor gets more light
  • The internal stairwells make layouts different depending on what floor – typically the stairwells that hit the back of a unit make the back potential bedrooms smaller or not an ideal layout.
  • Renovation costs can vary depending on when the unit was last renovated – they are always delivered with the taste/style of the previous owner.

Have you seen the same trend?  Let me know at Danielle@sohostrut.com.