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Retail properties a good buy. (Insiders Outlook).

Despite a soft economy and weakening consumer confidence, New York City's retail community continues to perform reasonably well, demonstrating the underlining strength of one of the most deeplyfounded retail markets in the world. The next year may represent a challenging period, but it will also provide opportunities for strategic expansion.

To meet this opportunity Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation has launched a program to purchase $1 billion in premier commercial office assets and quality shopping centers and malls in New York City and major markets during the next two years. The first phase of this program was the $180 million acquisition of three flagship properties net leased to Barneys New York from Japanese department store firm Isetan Co. Ltd.

The New York City property, 660 Madison Ave., located at the corner of Madison Avenue and 61st Street within the Madison Avenue District, considered by many to be the most upscale shopping district in Manhattan.

Frontage along Madison Avenue extends for more than 127 feet. The 264,498-SF site consists of a nine-story retail condominium beneath an office condominium unit that fills the 10th through the 23rd floors.

Completely renovated in early 1994, the building represents a timeless retail property that will always distinguish New York City as a shopping destination.

The two other flagship stores, totaling 185,502 SF of space in two properties, are located in the most exclusive and desirable shopping districts of Chicago and Beverly Hills: Chicago's Magnificent Mile and Beverly Hills' Golden Triangle.

In the current environment, careful analysis of the fundamentals - including location, foot and vehicular traffic, category of retail tenant and quality of the building - are critical to the success of a retail outlet. As always, retail properties with stronger fundamentals will prove more resilient to a downturn as properties in marginal locations show the most vulnerability.

Economic uncertainty will likely continue as our nation works its way through the recession and impact of the terrorist attacks. However, this is an opportunity to leave the sidelines and carefully acquire stand-out properties. The long-term overall strength of New York City and other core retail locations throughout the United States is clear.
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Title Annotation:New York City
Author:Ashkenazy, Ben
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Dec 26, 2001
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