The end was only a few months away for Century 21 when this photo was taken in late September 2020. AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
RIPCO Real Estate, a well-known independent brokerage house in New York, was operated by ASG actions to manage the rental and marketing of its Bay Ridge portfolio, which includes the site of the former Century 21 department store at 464 86e St., between Fourth and Fifth avenues in Bay Ridge as well as two other buildings, one of which housed the former TJ Maxx store.
ASG Equities, according to its own website, is owned by the Gindi family, which also owns Century 21. Although Century 21 closed its 13 New York-area stores in late 2020, last year the Eagle reported that the chain was planning to open a store in South Korea. This led to speculation, also reported in the Eagle, that the channel could reopen the 86e Street, but this latest announcement seems to put that possibility aside.
âIn total,â said RIPCO, âthe ASG Bay Ridge portfolio is a collection of three buildings of leading real estate offerings 175,000 square feet ideally suited for retail, healthcare, education or work space, as well as a dedicated 290-car parking garage.
In addition to the former Century 21 site, which RIPCO says “offers flexible division options,” the additional property available for rent in Bay Ridge includes:
- 502 86e Street, the former site of TJ Maxx, located on a prime corner at 86e Street and Fifth Avenue with 34,575 square feet available on four levels suitable for retail, healthcare, schools and work spaces as the building is divisible. TJ Maxx on 86e Street closed in early January 2021, about a month after Century 21. Unlike Century 21, the TJ Maxx chain is still active in New York.
- 436 87e Street and 415 88e Street, a 65,952 square foot campus opportunity with a 290 car multi-level parking garage.
âASG Equities has long, deep roots in Bay Ridge and is strongly committed to refreshing the 86e The street trading corridor as vital community equipment, âsaid George Karnoupakis, head of asset management at ASG Equities. âWe are very excited to bring a new generation of retailers to Bay Ridge who will transform the neighborhood. “
“We are excited to showcase the regional retail value in Southwest Brooklyn serving the communities of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Sunset Park,” said Gene Spiegelman, vice president and director of RIPCO, who manages the portfolio with Ben from RIPCO. Weiner, Morgan Singer and Chris Walther. âWe look forward to finding a new generation of top notch retailers or service occupants for the community of Bay Ridge and beyond. “
“It is great news for our community that ASG Equities and RIPCO are actively working on leasing the former Century 21 site as well as other large commercial properties here,” said board member Justin Brannan, who represents the region. âThe importance of 86th Street as a local business destination and employment center simply cannot be overstated. The dynamism of this corridor is absolutely crucial for our global local economy.
When Century 21 closed, CEO Raymond Gindi blamed the decision on insurance issues.
âWhile insurance money helped us rebuild after suffering the devastating impact of September 11 [when the chainâs Lower Manhattan store was damaged], we no longer have any viable alternative but to begin the closure of our beloved family business because our insurers, to whom we have paid large premiums each year for protection against unforeseen circumstances as we experience it today ‘hui [presumably COVID], have turned their backs on us at this most critical moment, âhe said in a statement.
The Bay Ridge store had been a mainstay of the community since 1961. In the days before it closed, long lines of customers were waiting to pick up the remaining merchandise. The interior of the store was bare for its last weekend, the Eagle reported at the time.
Josephine Beckmann, district director of Brooklyn Community Board 10, which includes Bay Ridge, mourned the closure of Century 21 and TJ Maxx.
âFor many in our community, Century 21 has served as a local department store for mom and pop and I’ve heard from many people who miss out on shopping at Century 21 while on vacation,â Beckmann said at the time. “It was a major anchor store on 86th Street, and I know high hopes that new anchors will come to Bay Ridge soon.”
About TJ Maxx, she told the Eagle, âThe loss of another major retail outlet on 86th Street in the near term will certainly leave a void, but I am optimistic that the vacancies will be filled soon as 86th Street is a busy intermodal hub that will attract certainly new companies to invest in. Bay Ridge.