Happy Ending at 420 Fifth Avenue

-December 17, 2012

A retail leasing saga at 420 Fifth Ave. that began with the failure of CompUSA Inc. in 2007 has finally been brought to a happy ending.

CompUSA was previously the anchor tenant for most of the 72,000 square feet retail space in the 28-story tower three blocks north of the Empire State Building. When the electronics giant began liquidating, Heritage Realty Services LLC, the landlord, took over the lease planning to increase rents.

But then the financial world collapsed in 2008. "The timing those first three years was not good. We sat empty for some time before we started renting space," says George Constantin, president and CEO of Heritage Realty, which controls about half a million square feet in the New York Region.

Earlier this month, sports equipment store Earlier this month sports equipment store Golfsmlth International Holdings Inc. signed a 14,452- square-foot deal to fill the last remaining vacancy. The asking rent was $280 a square foot for the 2,000-square-foot ground floor portion and $100 a square foot on the 12,000 square-foot second floor. CompUSA had previously leased the space for around $30 per square feet, and the average rent among the three current tenants is now over $100 per square foot.

"We tripled the rent essentially," says Mr. Constantin.