- Last Updated: 2:13 AM, September 4, 2012
- Posted: 12:08 AM, September 4, 2012
Reflecting the ongoing upgrade of FiDi’s casual-eating scene, Roti Mediterranean Grill will launch its first New York outpost at 100 Maiden Lane in January.
The “healthy and affordable” chain with 16 locations in Chicago and Washington, DC, has signed a lease for 2,000 square feet in a former bank space — how’s that for a switch? — on the ground floor of the rental apartment building.
The asking rent was $150 a square foot. An RKF team of Marc Finkel, Greg Covey and Ariel Schuster represented Roti; Winick Realty Group’s Darrell Rubens and Lee Block repped landlord Maiden Lane Properties.
Roti Chairman Mats Lederhausen described the chain’s philosophy as “basically fast food with no guilt.” The menu boasts “robust flavors” of the Mediterranean such as olive oil and legumes, and includes freshly cut roasted meets, salads, sandwiches and traditional sides like hummus and couscous.
The Roti deal typifies the measured advance of the FiDi restaurant world. Despite promises of future culinary nirvana at the World Financial Center and the World Trade Center, there’s still precious little “fine dining” except for steakhouses — which keep multiplying even though residents are starved for better seafood, Italian and Asian choices.
In fact, with the recent exit of SHO Shaun Hergatt from 40 Broad St., the city’s most neglected dining district might appear to be losing what momentum it briefly had.
Major-league uptown restaurateurs continue to avoid the area for several reasons — including the false perception that there aren’t enough customers and the accurate one that available spaces tend to be too big (as at former bank vaults) or too small and narrow.
Even so, there’s tremendous momentum where lower-priced eateries are concerned — a quantum leap over Wall Street’s old greasy spoons and ethnic spots.
Better quality chain operators such as Pret A Manger, Financier and Chipotle are replacing the dives from river to river. Uptown restaurateurs including the Fresco-owning Scotto family have launched thriving low-priced outfits mainly for lunch and takeout.
A few weeks ago, GRK, offering Greek yogurt-based dishes and wine by the half-bottle, opened at 111 Fulton. And the energy extends to retailing as well.
The new, 23,000-square-foot 55 Fulton Market this summer replaced a 3,000-square-foot Key Food. While the old store carried staples aimed at fixed-income residents of the Mitchell-Lama Southbridge Towers above it, the new emporium also lures FiDi’s more affluent shoppers to its fresh seafood, sushi, cheese and “World of Beer” (200 brands) counters.
In the latest office deal at the rejuvenated (and trying to go public) Empire State Building, Kaltex North America is growing from 5,946 square feet to 41,879 square feet.
The firm is a subsidiary of Mexican textile giant Grupo Kaltex. A small tenant at the Empire State for more than 30 years, it is consolidating its New York operation there, moving out of space it had in the Plaza District.
Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings, which supervises the landmark tower, noted its tenant roster had grown increasingly international in recent years.
Kaltex will have new space on the entire 70th floor and part of the 71st.
Studley’s Michael Goldman, Chip Conklin and Dan Posy represented Kaltex. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s William Cohen, Ryan Kass and Shanae Ursini repped the landlord. The asking rent was $55 a square foot.
About two-thirds of the tower’s roughly 2.8 million square feet of office space are leased.
The vacant third doesn’t mean leasing is slow. Most of the space is not yet on the market as Malkin continues to redesign and reconfigure floors that were underutilized and obsolete under previous management.