By: Steve Cuozzo | New York Post
Nobu, for 20 years one of New York’s most storied and influential restaurants, is leaving its Tribeca home for 195 Broadway — in the heart of the Wall Street/World Trade Center area.
By early 2017, Nobu will open in 14,384 square feet at the “wedding cake,” the former AT&T building, including ground-floor space on the Fulton Street side and a portion of the lower level.
Nobu and little-sister spot Nobu Next Door currently have 9,000 square feet at 105 Hudson St., where they will remain open through 2016, Nobu managing partner Drew Nieporent said.
David Rockwell, who designed the original, has been tapped to design the new Nobu as well.
Landing Nobu at the 1 million-square-foot landmark is a coup for L&L Holding Co., which owns the office tower in partnership with JP Morgan Investment Management.
L&L, founded in 2000 by David W. Levinson and Robert T. Lapidus, manages and leases the property.
Levinson said, “We always believed that 195 Broadway and northwestern downtown would commingle with Tribeca. With the move of an original Tribeca icon, Nobu, to 195, we have realized our vision.”
L&L Executive Vice President David C. Berkey negotiated the 15-year lease.
Terms were not revealed.
Asking rents for 195 Broadway’s two remaining retail spaces are $500-to-$600 per square foot.
Nobu is owned by Meir Teper, Robert De Niro, chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Nieporent.
Matsuhisa’s Japanese-Peruvian fusion menu — most famous for widely imitated black cod with miso sauce — has earned accolades since 1994. The original Nobu remains one of Manhattan’s premier dining venues, where tables are almost impossible to come by at prime hours.
Its success spawned 30 more Nobus around the world — from West 57th Street to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Nobu’s relocation will surely surprise fans who regard it as synonymous with Tribeca. But Nieporent said he and Levinson were longtime friends — “We’re both Yankee fans” — and L&L “pretty much made a deal we couldn’t refuse.”
Nieporent said the original Nobu lacked sufficient space for lucrative private events, which the new location is expected to accommodate.
Even so, “It was a difficult decision,” he said. “We have a very cordial relationship with our landlord on Hudson Street.”
The planned move may upend perceptions of the downtown dining landscape — as game-changing as Condé Nast’s move to 1 World Trade Center is for the office market.
Although Nobu’s current and future addresses are geographically not that far apart, they’re worlds apart in culinary expectations. While Tribeca has long been known for fine restaurants, including Nieporent’s Batard and Tribeca Grill, the dining scene south of Chambers Street has lagged far behind FiDi’s residential and retail transformation.
Superchef Tom Colicchio and Balthazar creator Keith McNally are launching eateries at the new Beekman Hotel — but Nobu will be the district’s first world-acclaimed, standalone restaurant.
Because 195 Broadway’s ground floor designed by William Welles Bosworth is a designated city landmark, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Community Board 1 collaborated closely with L&L for six years to preserve its architectural integrity.
The magisterial lobby, which never previously had stores or restaurants, is famed for 50 Doric-style columns rising to a 40-foot-high ceiling. The retail section will be shared by Nobu and two stores yet to be signed. They will be set off by floor-to-ceiling, transparent glass panels so as not to block views.
The $50 million master plan to create a 44,600 square-foot retail “envelope” also calls for a public galleria between Dey and Fulton streets.