For about six years now, we’ve been working with real estate brokers and building owners as an integral member of their successful leasing and sales campaigns. Most often, our clients want to show prospective tenants how their brand could be envisioned within the space they are leasing. The concepts and photo-illustrations we create explore the potential in retail locations and help everyone involved see how dynamic a space can really be.
It is a process that we fell into when our friends at Cushman & Wakefield in New York asked us for retail advice. The photo-illustrations combine our knowledge and experience in architecture, retail, illustration and graphic design and are just fun to produce.
It typically starts with a phone call from Cushman & Wakefield in New York saying they are e-mailing photos of a building in Midtown. The location is almost always one of the absolute premier retail addresses; Fifth Avenue, Sixth Avenue, Broadway. The photos arrive in our inbox while we’re on the phone and the fun begins.
Client: “This is what we need: Remove all the windows from the 53rd corner to Fifth Avenue. Preserve the stone above the third floor, but you can take out anything else you want. Show two different entries and take out all the vans in the foreground. We need to wow them so go wild. We need 4-5 versions; one for Topshop, two for Prada, one for…
Oh, and by the way, we need them by tomorrow night.”
Us: (While feverishly sketching over the photo with notes) “Sure. No problem!”
Using just the photographs provided by the client, our ever-growing library of rendering resources and our imaginations, we can create a series of renderings that wow the client, communicate a vision to potential tenants or prospective buyers and, depending on the complexity of the request, we usually do it in less than a week.
Developing this imagery has become an integral part of the leasing process for some of the most valuable retail addresses in the country. Most recently our work has played a role in the leases for Hollister, Uniqlo and Swatch; [Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue Store Has Priciest Lease Ever] and the sale of a retail condominium to Inditex, the parent company of Zara, [Spanish Retailer Pays $324 Million For Fifth Ave Retail Condo], all at 666 Fifth Avenue. These transactions achieved records in terms of the rents paid per square foot as well as the total transaction values. Collectively, these transactions will result in 666 Fifth Avenue becoming the highest grossing retail block in the City of New York, and possibly the entire country.
With the retail and mixed-use development world coming back to life we’re looking forward to a lot more opportunity to participate in deals like these and having a lot of fun doing it.