SL Green Realty Corp., a real estate investment trust that owns the shopping centers in New York City, signed Puma to a long-term lease deal to open the 24,000-square-foot store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where the brand will be sitting alongside some of the sportswear companies at the shopping corridor. The retail store will be located at 609 Fifth Avenue and 49th Street.

The deal, which was reached by both parties on Thursday, will last for 15 years, according to Commercial Observer, a website that offers information and news related to the commercial real estate industry.

SL Green, an S&P 500 company and New York City's largest office landlord that is focused on acquiring and managing the value of Manhattan commercial properties, recently renovated the three-level retail that will feature the state-of-the-art double-height storefronts that wrap around the building.

In a statement by PUMA Chief Executive Björn Gulden, the location at Fifth Avenue is described as an iconic place and one of the most prestigious streets in the world. Gulden said that becoming the fastest sports brand in the world has been the main focus of the German sportswear company. He believes that this location is a great place for Puma to show its brand to the world.

Retail market attraction

Fifth Avenue, which is dominated by luxury retailers such as Gucci and Ferragamo, is becoming an attractive place to expand the athletic business. According to Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry advisor for NPD Group Inc., the German sportswear company that takes over NYC's Fifth Avenue raises up to a higher position among top athletic brands in the marketplace.

"The brand is in a good place right now, and I think it's an opportunity for them to leverage their coolness with the consumer," Powell told Footwear News. "It's also an opportunity for foreign tourists to see the brand in its full expression. This plays very well to the international community." The primary mission of retail markets around Fifth Avenue is not focused mainly on making money by selling footwear, according to Powell.

He said this location is a great place for retailers to market their brand to consumers from all around America and the globe. Powell believes that consumers want to enjoy the retail experience of walking the walk and seeing these amazing retailers. Fifth Avenue is known to be one of the most popular shopping streets in the world.

Top athletic brands on Fifth Avenue

In addition to Puma's lease for retail space, rival athletic companies such as Nike Inc., Under Armour Inc., and Adidas AG have also leased space on Fifth Avenue's shopping corridor. The retail market on Fifth Avenue also incorporates the NBA store, which features the brand's signature athletic footwear, clothes, and accessories. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have been hit by the online retail growth in the last few years, and the shopping district has not been immune to it, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal cited the real estate services firm CBRE Group Inc., noting that in the first quarter of the year, the asking rent of retail market on the lower stretch of Fifth Avenue from 42nd to 49th streets fell by 5.4 percent to $1,060 a square foot compared to the same quarter last year. The asking rent on Fifth Avenue from 49th to 59th streets dropped by 0.5 percent to $3,700 a square foot.

The Puma stores in Manhattan were once located at 421 West 14th Street, 33 Union Square West, and 521 Broadway, but retailers closed these stores. The company still has a store in Elmhurst, Queens at the Queens Center, according to The Real Deal, the New York real estate news, which reported last month.