Birchbox, a beauty sample delivery service, has had an online business model only up until now. Now, they are opening an actual storefront in SoHo. Co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna are confident that the store, which will have full and sample-size beauty products, will be a success.
As Beauchamp said, “We set it up like an Internet store.” The store has 4200 square feet and has more than 250 beauty brands and lifestyle goods.
Creatively set up like an online store, customers shop by category rather than brand. So they shop for lip products, hair products, etc. and can test things out at the “Try Bar.” As a cute addition, they have a “BYOB” section, or “Build Your Own Birchbox” where customers can select five sample items for $15.
They will also have a makeup, hair and nails studio downstairs where women can come for a quick braid or a polish change.
Beauchamp and Barna are no fly-by-night business women. They met at Harvard Business School and their company is rumored to be worth about $500 million.
As Beauchamp said, “We’re really excited. This is the best way to discover beauty.”
Paintbox is the place to go in SoHo for the ultimate manicure. The salon is owned by Eleanor Langston, a former beauty editor for Cosmopolitan, Self and Fitness. Now, they don’t accept special nail requests and they don’t do pedicures. But you won’t find a more luxurious place at the moment for a manicure in SoHo.
Those eyeing real estate in SoHo may want to focus their attention, instead, along Canal Street. Last year, a group of buyers purchased 351 Canal Street and were led by Elli Ausubel of the White Bay Group. Uriel Cohen is the founder of the White Bay Group, while Elli Ausubel is the Managing Partner.
The purchasers bought the five-story, 25,000 square foot retail and loft apartment building for $24.8 million. Pouring $17.3 million into renovations, they are hoping to turn a healthy profit through retail space and tenant rentals.
As David Eisen, the broker at Eastern Union Funding who arranged for the bridge loan from Investors Bank, said “They believe they can secure a marquee national retail tenant for this space. There are a lot of people banking right now that Canal is going to be the next big shopping corridor.”
Up until now, Canal Street has not been a particularly desirable address. It has typically housed discount goods. As Michael Glanzberg, a principal at the So-Ho-based retail leasing brokerage Sinvin, said “Top-end retailers have been unwilling to go there.”
Now, as SoHo rents have skyrocketed, many are looking elsewhere. At the White Bay Group, Uriel Cohen and Elli Ausubel and others will certainly be watching how this property does.
People either have much too much time on their hands, or they need to find a new hobby. On June 22 you, too, can be part of the Puppy Prom happening at The Lofts. This is at 177 Prince Street and tickets are $40. Now, what’s a Puppy Prom, you might ask?
This is an event where 100 dogs get dolled up in the hopes of being named King and Queen. And yes, people design gowns and tuxedos for the dogs, as Roberto Negrin, the founder of Hec-Lin Couture for Dogs explains, “They get hair extensions, paint the toenails, even put on false eyelashes.”
Last year, the event was held at a car dealership. This year, they are adding to the excitement by placing it at The Lofts at Prince. People will be selling treats and dog products. There will also be a raffle and prizes for the best dressed dogs and the best look-alikes.
Close to 100 people have already RSVP’d that they are coming with their dogs.
If you own a piece of SoHo, it appears that you have made it. If the recent acquisition by a pair of former investment sales brokers who started a real estate investment firm called Imperium Capital is any indication, SoHo is hopping. Daniel Glaser (30) and Sam Schneider (36) just purchased a ground floor retail space at 123 Prince Street on the corner of Wooster Street for $8 million.
The shocking part of this price tag is that the space is only 650 square feet, which translates to $12,300 per square foot. Imperium partnered with the real estate investment firm Centurion Realty on the sale.
SoHo has certainly become a powerhouse for rentals with retail space hitting $1000 per square foot. Time will tell what the duo will put in place at their new digs – but we can guess that it will have a high price tag attached to it.
Another hi-tech company is opening a branch in SoHo at 375 W. Broadway. Square, which makes devices that allow businesses to accept credit card payments, will now be able to expand to have 250 employees.
As Demetrios Marantis, Square’s head of international government, regulatory and policy work said, “New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, technology, and art — something we do every day at Square as we help local sellers grow their business with simple and beautiful tools.”
Square is based in San Francisco and also has offices in Atlanta, Tokyo and Kitchener-Waterloo.
It might be interesting for other start-ups to know that New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo is going out of his way to court hi-tech companies and start-ups. The Governor has been involved in Square’s entry into its East Coast headquarters, offering Square $5 million in tax credits to help facilitate its New York expansion. Similar tax credits are available for other start-ups, as indicated by the spokesperson for Governor Cuomo’s office.
A new hotel in SoHo called Broome is certainly worth a look. Located at Crosby and Broome, this hotel was seven years in the making. They transformed a Federal-style building that used to house a commune of artists in the late 80s into a 14 cozy, fun room. The most beautiful part of the hotel is the five-story atrium café and lobby where everyone enters.
Opened by Vincent Boitier and the Lacovelli brothers, this hotel is a one-of-a-kind stop in the busy New York City world. The building, built in the Federal Revival Style, was completed in 1825, and the renovations have managed to keep the old world look and feel while creating the most modern of amenities.