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Retail Deals For FAO Schwarz, Peloton Take REBNY's Top Honors

Bob Gibson and Patrick A. Smith of JLL, Benjamin Birnbaum and Ben Shapiro of Newmark Knight Frank, Matthew Ogle of JLL, REBNY Chairman Bill Rudin, REBNY President John Banks, JLL's Corey Zolcinski, Neil Seth and Kenji Ota of Cushman & Wakefield, Steven Soutendijk of Cushman & Wakefield

Deals to bring FAO Schwarz to Rockefeller Center and a cycling concept to Manhattan West have been honored with the Real Estate Board of New York’s top retail awards.

Cushman and Wakefield's Kenji Ota and Neil Seth won REBNY’s Most Significant Retail Deal of the Year Award Tuesday night for arranging the lease for FAO Schwarz's new flagship over three floors at 30 Rockefeller Center.

The famed toy store signed a deal to take 24K SF at the Tishman Speyer-owned building and will open there this fall. FAO Schwarz is replacing the NBC Experience Store, which will move to a space in the lobby of the building.

“The news of one of New York’s most beloved brands coming back to New York City at Rockefeller Center made even the most skeptical real estate retail experts believe that New York City retail was turning the corner for the better,” the brokers wrote in their submission. 

Cushman & Wakefield's Neil Seth and Kenji Ota

The Most Ingenious Retail Deal of the Year went to the brokers who brought cycling studio Peloton to 5 Manhattan West.

JLL’s Patrick Smith, Matthew Ogle, Corey Zolcinski, Bob Gibson and Erin Grace represented landlord Brookfield Properties. Peloton was represented by Newmark Knight Frank's Benjamin Birnbaum and Ben Shapiro.

The deal was particularly challenging, according to REBNY, because Peloton wanted to created a "Super Studio” with all its product components in one place.

The brokers had to deal with challenges like a possible train tunnel and flood gate interference. In total, Peloton leased 26K SF of retail, fitness, media production and community event space. It also took nearly 6K SF for offices.

“At this time in New York, as the retail market is in a state of transformation, the work by this year’s Retail Deal of the Year Award winners demonstrate the critical importance of brick-and-mortar space to the life and growth of businesses old and new,” REBNY President John Banks said in a statement. “The retail brokers’ achievements are a model for other retailers and brokers as they navigate opportunities in the evolving retail sector.”