NYC Firm to Acquire Macy’s Store in Rockland; Major Lease Signed with New Retailer

John Jordan | November 2018

A rendering of the redeveloped Macy’s store at The Shops at Nanuet.

NANUET, NY—New York City-based Metropolitan Realty Associates has signed a contract to acquire the 218,000-square-foot Macy’s store at The Shops at Nanuet here.

Metropolitan Realty Associates, headed by founder and CEO Joe Farkas, is partnering with equity partner Angelo Gordon & Co. LP of New York City in a sale/ leaseback agreement with Macy’s that will enable the retailer to continue to operate fully through the holiday season.

No financial terms of the pending transaction were released.

Blair Fasbender Rosenberg, a spokesperson for Macy’s, states, “Macy’s, Inc. has been reviewing its real estate portfolio across the country to see if there are opportunities to improve the use of our assets. After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to close the Nanuet, NY, store in early 2019. A clearance sale will begin in mid-January 2019 and run for approximately 8-12 weeks.”

Macy’s operates a store location in West Nyack at the Palisades Center Mall in Rockland County.

Farkas reports that his firm has already secured a tenant for just under half the Macy’s retail space. At Home, a national chain of home décor superstores, has signed a 10-year lease for the entire first floor comprising 101,488 square feet. Jerry Welkis, a principal of Welco Realty, represented the tenant. MRA represented itself in the transaction.

In the Hudson Valley, At Home opened a location earlier this year on Route 211 in Middletown at the former Gander Mountain store.

“The purchase of Macy’s at the Shops at Nanuet is a win-win for all parties,” says Farkas. “MRA gets to acquire prime retail space in an area with excellent demographics and long-term potential to execute a value-add strategy; and; it allows one of the fastest growing retailers in the country to enter a new market as part of a national expansion program focused on exciting growth opportunities.”

At Home has been growing at a rapid pace since taking its operation public in 2016. Founded in Garden Ridge, TX, in 1979, the company now headquartered in Plano, TX, currently operates 177 stores in 36 states across the country.

Macy’s was one of the original two anchor stores, then operating as Bamberger’s Store, when Nanuet Mall originally opened in 1969, and, along with Sears, owned its space. Simon Property Group redeveloped the outdated mall as a 760,000-square-foot open-air lifestyle center called The Shops at Nanuet and re-opened in 2013.

The Shops at Nanuet retail tenancy now includes Fairway Market, Regal Cinemas, 24-Hour Fitness and notable specialty retailers Apple, Coach, Lululemon, J. Crew, Michael Kors, Sephora, Starbucks, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar and P.F. Chang’s. After filing for bankruptcy last month, Sears has announced it will shutter its store there.

Farkas said MRA will redevelop the entire Macy’s space to create a new home for At Home and redevelop the space for a “modern-day retail experience.”

“Macy’s Nanuet has all of the qualities that MRA looks for in an investment. It is situated within a high traffic location on Route 59, along the I-287 retail corridor, in an area with limited new supply,” said Farkas. “It benefits from neighboring Bergen County, New Jersey’s Blue Laws that prohibit Sunday retail sales, incentivizing weekend shoppers to cross the state border and consequently widening the trade area. And, rezoning for transit-oriented development (TOD) now underway in the nearby town of Clarkston will add residential development that will connect the historic downtown with The Shops at Nanuet and the Nanuet Train Station.

“Our ability to quickly find a high-quality tenant such as At Home for the space confirms our belief in its ability to attract quality retailers for the vacant space, and we are confident that our redevelopment will breathe new life into a store that has become outdated and transform it into the kind of place where today’s consumers want to shop,” he adds.

David Landes and Jeanine Kemm of Royal Properties will act as leasing agent for MRA.

Along with Angelo Gordon, MRA has been behind several notable adaptive reuse projects in the tri-state area, including the ground-up development and lease-up of Riverdale Crossing in the Bronx.

MRA sold the revived property in 2015 to a New York City pension fund for $133 million after buying the shuttered site for $18.5 million.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth