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Westfield blasted for bungling store leasing at Fulton Center

Westfield Corporation, which wants out of its Fulton Center lease with the MTA, is probably right that crime and poor security are chasing out some retail tenants.

But it’s also true that the subway station’s doughnut-domed “shopping” atrium at Broadway and Fulton Street has been a flop since it opened in 2014, long before the Covid-era uptick in crime.

Parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said in 2022 that it planned to unload most or all of its US shopping centers. The Fulton fiasco would fit right in with that strategy.

Retail brokers who didn’t want to be named blamed Westfield for bungling store leasing at Fulton since the get-go —  as it has on a larger scale at the World Trade Center, where it owns the retail space in the Oculus and office towers where oodles of storefronts remain vacant.

Westfield’s policy of not hiring local retail brokers alienated the talent it needed to lure even middle-market stores to Fulton, they say.

Half of what’s called Level 2 — one of four floors connected by a confusing maze of stairs, escalators and an elevator — has been vacant since the opening.

Shake Shack is the building’s only large retail tenant. The rest are fast-food spots like Krispy Kreme, Auntie Anne’s and, until it recently bolted, Haagen-Dazs — like in a suburban mall “food court.”

Half of what’s called Level 2 has been vacant since the opening. Robert Miller
Haagen-Dazs at Fulton Center’s ground floor closed earlier this year. Robert Miller
Flexible workspace provider Industrious has 50,000 square feet at Fulton Center. Steve Cuozzo for New York Post

Despite the retail crisis, Westfield has an apparent cash cow above the stores — flexible workspace provider Industrious, which “partnered” with Westfield in 2022. Its 50,000 square feet are more than all the stores combined.

When we took the elevator to the mysterious fourth floor, Industrious employees twice tried to chase us from the public landing outside its door. Maybe they have something to hide.  


The owners of Casa Cipriani just secured a $103 million refinancing of the property. Courtesy of Casa Cipriani

Casa Cipriani, the wildly popular (with its members) private hotel and boutique hotel, appears to float above the landmarked Battery Maritime building overlooking New York Harbor downtown.

But there’s money behind the magic. The pleasure palace’s owners — Cipriani, Midtown Equities and Centaur Properties —  just secured a $103 million refinancing of the property that opened in 2021. Walker & Dunlop arranged the CMBS loan from Citigroup, JPMorgan and Argentic.

The long-term fixed rate loan replaces a shorter-term, floating rate bridge loan.

Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz and Sean Bastian led the W&D New York Capital Markets team.



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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