The "Men in Black III" movie is turning a Greene Street loft into a back-to-the-sixties party palace. The upcoming flick, starring Will Smith, Alice Eve and Josh Brolin as the young Tommy Lee Jones character, Agent K, has rented the 9,000 square-foot second floor of 38 Greene St., where it intends to film a crucial scene.
The space has 20 wrap-around windows on Greene and Grand streets.
"The party is going to have an Andy Warhol theme, and they got the most charming loft in SoHo," said building owner David Zar, who was told he could dress up and be an extra in the film if only the busy real estate owner had time to stand around for hours.
"MIB 3" is paying "quadruple" the normal rent, which Zar is splitting with another film industry tenant that is now waiting to move into the loft once filming is over.
The tenant-in-waiting, Logan Media, is a production and post-production facility that is now a block away at 155 Wooster St. The asking rent for its seven-year lease with options was $43 a square foot, so you can imagine what "MIB3" is paying.
Logan was repped by Glenn Teyf, who is now with Gideon Group, while Zar did the work for his own building.
"MIB3" has also rented several other Zar-owned spaces in the area to handle hair, makeup and places for those extras to hang out when they are not actually in front of the cameras.
The 1896-era residential loft building at 9 E. 16th St. by Union Square is in contract to be sold to BCN Development for around $17 million by an entity controlled by Maurice Laboz and William Punch. BCN will take over the current $9.975 million mortgage with Sovereign Bank.
Craig Nassi, CEO of BCN, said, "It is an amazing building with a gold-mine location, as there is a pent-up demand from people who want to live and own in the Union Square area."
The 50-foot-wide and very ornate building was designed by Louis Korn with 13-foot ceilings and lots of arched windows overlooking the park and a low-rise building to its rear.
As most of the tenants have market-rate deals, the sponsors will have about 15 units for sale once the leases are up and the plan is approved by the attorney general's office in about nine months.
Renovations to the lobby, elevators and other common elements will start as soon as they close on the project in August. Nassi is also thrilled the building has Steak Frites as its retail anchor tenant.
"It's nearly impossible to find great deals like this," said Nassi of the off-market transaction. "Most buildings like this have too many rent-regulated tenants."
The UK-based online fashion retailer, Net-a-Porter, just signed a 10-year, 32,144 square foot lease at 100-104 Fifth Ave. for the entire 11th and 12th floors. The asking rent was $55 a square foot for the recently purchased building. Launched in 2000, Net-a-Porter has 800 employees in the UK, and this will become its first US office. The company's 3 million fashion customers come from 170 countries, and 90 percent of them are women.
Owen Hane of Cushman & Wakefield represented Net-a-Porter.
"This is the first deal we've done post-closing," said Grant Greenspan of the Kaufman Organization who represented the building along with Michael Kaufman and Elliot Warren. Kaufman purchased the building for $93.5 million in December. "Every floor but one has a lease out for signature," Greenspan said.
Just in time for the International Council of Shop ping Centers big powwow in Vegas at the end of the month, where more than 20,000 brokers and re tailers are ex pected, Thor's Joseph Sitt is expanding his business inter ests with the founding of a new retail and investment company called Thor High Street Advisors.
Veteran retail brokers now on board include Chris DeCrosta, Robert Draizen and Mitchel Friedel. No one responded to repeated inquiries even though a Web site is already up and running.