THE REAL CO.
CREATING VALUE AT THE INTERSECTION OF BRANDING AND REAL ESTATE
THE REAL CO.'s success was traditionally driven by identifying and executing real estate transactions with a branding component. Building on that heritage, THE REAL CO. has recently pursued industrial real estate opportunities that leverage e-commerce and logistics insights gained from other INFINITY GLOBAL companies. Examples include the Fashion 26 hotel near the Fashion Institute of Technology, The Times Square Edition Hotel, and Sports World on Manhattan's West Side pier. THE REAL CO’s principals have directly transacted in over $2.5B in real estate related investments over the past two decades.
In 2021, THE REAL CO approached the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club with the idea of creating a flagship retail destination that would serve as the international club’s first New York City landmark. After several discussions clarifying the desired scope, size, and location of the destination, THE REAL CO’s principals crafted a multi-pronged strategy to bring the flagship to fruition. After a meticulous search, THE REAL CO was able to secure 587 Fifth Ave, a trophy location with direct frontage on one of the most high-end retail corridors in the United States. Next, THE REAL CO worked directly with Paris Saint-Germain to convert the vacant retail storefront into its current flagship destination. By assisting with the design and architectural elements, including a fully redesigned façade and reimagining of the interior space, THE REAL CO was able to help Paris Saint-Germain cross an important milestone in their international expansion into the US market. This project is a testament to THE REAL CO’s ability to assist various sports franchises in their retail and hospitality expansions across target international markets.
THE REAL CO. leases and manages real estate, such as shopping centers, office buildings, condominiums, apartments, parking garages, entertainment facilities, restaurants and bars. THE REAL CO.'s expertise includes providing restaurant/bar services and facilities for exhibitions.
In 2012, Ike S. Franco, founder of THE REAL CO. and original founder of INFINITY REAL ESTATE, purchased an eleven-story office building in the heart of Duffy Square with a consortium of investors for $430M. The business plan called for demolition of the office building and construction of a 36 story, 340,000 sf hotel and retail tower with a 24,000 sf LED screen, the nation’s largest, in the heart of Times Square. In 2018, while the tower was being developed as the 452-key Times Square Edition Hotel, Maefield Development and Fortress Investment Group bought out Ike and the remaining investors for $1.53B. Ike’s combination of branding expertise and real estate development experience directly contributed to the success of the project and its enhancement of the Times Square sub-market.
Sports World Live!
Sports World Live! is a multi-level pier re-development concept on Manhattan’s West side. The project would add ample green spaces and recreational fields to Manhattan’s crowded west side to promote health and wellness for visitors and nearby residents alike. Additionally, plans called for sports-related retail, experiential facilities for a variety of sports, and rooftop green space. The concept would include working with the MLB, NBA, NFL, FIFA, NHL, PGA, and other sports organizations to create a one-stop sports entertainment destination within Manhattan. In addition to retail space for the franchises mentioned above, the redevelopment would include “sport experience” space dedicated to creating microcosms of each sport within the facility. While plans have been placed on hold due to the pandemic, the project illustrates THE REAL CO.’s ingenuity and creativity in pairing a unique brand experience with one-of-a-kind, prime real estate.