Neiman Marcus Puts 4 Leases On The Market As Part Of Its Bankruptcy

Neiman Marcus Group, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in May, has put four of its store leases up for sale as part of the process.

The leases are for stores in California, Washington, Florida and Washington, D.C., and are being marketed by Melville, New York-based A&G Real Estate Partners. All of the leases are for long periods with options to extend. In one case, the options would carry the lease into the 22nd century.

The leases represent an opportunity for retailers or investor to enter high-traffic markets that are also high barriers to entry, A&G co-President Emilio Amendola said in a statement.

“Additionally, some of these locations are particularly promising for conversion to hotel, office or residential use,” he said.

Neiman Marcus declined to offer further detail about the offerings, with a spokesperson telling Bisnow that ongoing discussions with landlords are confidential.

“We are always assessing our store footprint to ensure it is optimal to enhance revenues, overall profitability, and our omnichannel strategy,” the spokesperson said by email. “This ongoing assessment may include marketing of leases for certain locations. This is not necessarily an indication that we are closing a particular store, but rather a way to monetize the value of the leases at these properties.”

The leases are a 48K SF store at 151 Worth Ave. in Palm Beach, Florida, with options available until 2051; the 87K SF 1275 Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, California, with options available until 2112; the 124K SF Shops at Bravern in Bellevue, Washington, with options available until 2090; and the 126K SF Mazza Gallerie in Washington, D.C., with options available until 2051.

At the time of its bankruptcy, the carriage-trade retailer operated 43 Neiman Marcus stores, two Bergdorf Goodman stores and 22 Last Call discount stores, though it was already closing the Last Calls as part of a plan to focus on its upmarket business. The coronavirus pandemic forced Neiman Marcus to close most of its other stores temporarily.

Private equity firm Ares Management Corp. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought Neiman Marcus in 2013 for $6B, including debt.

Even before the current economic crisis, the company struggled under a debt load of about $5.1B, the legacy of two leveraged buyouts. Servicing the debt has been eating up most of the retailer’s profits in recent years, Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck told The Wall Street Journal.

The goal of its bankruptcy is to wipe away at least $5B of the company’s debt. Neiman Marcus didn’t announce any permanent store closures when it filed, but buyers are still interested in some of its locations, along with those of other retailers going through bankruptcy, Evergreen Commercial Realty President Lilly Golden told Bisnow.