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Iconic Nine West tower continues leasing surge under Stefan Soloviev

Stefan Soloviev and 9 West 57th St. tower
Stefan Soloviev and 9 West 57th St. tower

It’s high-five time at Nine West, the near-mythic office tower at 9 W. 57th Street enjoying new life under Stefan Soloviev, the son of late developer Sheldon Solow.

The 50-story skyscraper with over 1.6 million square feet behind its famous sloping facade inched closer to 100% occupancy with a newly signed lease with French global asset management firm Tikehau Capital.

The deal for 23,033 square feet on the 45th floor brings the building to over 96% full.

It’s a far cry from the 50% availability that Soloviev faced when he took control of the property after his father’s passing in November 2020 and when pandemic-ravaged midtown was still largely deserted.

Other tenants at Nine West, as it’s known, include Apollo, Mousse Partners, Loews Corp., Davidson Kempner and Pointstate Capital.

Rents have usually been higher than $200 per square foot.

Soloviev attributed the recent leasing surge in part to  having success “personal relationships with tenants.

“We listen to them and accommodate them,” he said. “It’s a 180-degree turn from what the relationships were in the past.”

French global asset management firm Tikehau Capital signed a lease at 9 W. 57th St., bringing occupancy to 96%. Warzer jaff
French global asset management firm Tikehau Capital signed a lease at 9 W. 57th St., bringing occupancy to 96%. Warzer jaff

He referred to Sheldon Solow’s notoriously brittle relationships with tenants who sometimes ended up fighting him in court.

Although the tower was prized for its Central Park views and the quality of its finishes, it was rarely full after it opened in 1974.

Some companies feared to go there after Solow sued the likes of Avon and Bank of America over various occupancy and rent issues.

The infamously picky developer also kept large blocks of space vacant rather than sign tenants he didn’t like or at rents lower than he was willing to offer.

But Nine West is on a roll now. Another reason for its comeback  is an elaborate underground, for-tenants-only athletic club that will soon boast a cold-plunge spa pool.

Stefan Soloviev attributed the recent leasing surge in part to having success “personal relationships with tenants. “We listen to them and accommodate them,” he said. Getty Images
Stefan Soloviev attributed the recent leasing surge in part to having success “personal relationships with tenants. “We listen to them and accommodate them,” he said. Getty Images

There’s also a 20,000 square-foot amenities center on the 27th floor.

The amenities program actually began around the start of the pandemic.

“We were putting $45 million into the building when we didn’t know real estate was headed,” Soloviev said.

The ground-floor art gallery, now known as the Soloviev Foundation Gallery and home masterworks by such giants as Matisse and Giacometti, is at last open to the public on a limited basis.

Tikehau was represented in lease negotiations by Avison Young’s Roshan Shah. The owners were repped by CBRE’s Howard Fiddle, Gregg Rothkin, John P. Maher, Alex Leopold and Tara Rhodes.