The first floor of the iconic Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery will open to the public as soon as this fall. The structure has been in the midst of a high-end retail and office conversion since 2015, after the developer Aby Rosen purchased the building from artist Jay Maisel for $55 million. And now, Rosen has nabbed his first retail tenant for the ground-floor space.
According to the New York Post, fashion emporium Totokaelo (which sells designer lines like Acne Studios, Comme des Garçons, Jil Sander, and Proenza Schouler) has signed a lease for an 8,918-square-foot pop-up, which will open in early fall and run through March of next year. The executive vice president of retail for RFR, the building's developer, told the Post that he's "optimistic that this short-term agreement will turn into a long-term one."
The upper-level office space of the six-story, 38,000-square-foot building has all been leased to Great Bowery, an umbrella group of creative agencies and services. But Rosen is looking to permanently fill the retail space on the ground floor, mezzanine and basement, which has an asking rent of a mind-boggling $2 million per year.
When Totokaelo opens, it'll boast an entrance fronted by tall, arched windows on two sides. Although the building was long covered by graffiti under the longtime ownership of Jay Maisel, who bought it in 1966 for $102,000, it was scrubbed clean last summer.