Storied Leica Camera is opening a flagship in the Meatpacking District as a destination for photography — with sales and a gallery, plus classroom, event and outdoor space, The Post has learned.
The former veal market, construction office and hardware building at 406 W. 13th St. has been a midblock eyesore, but the plans for its complete facelift attracted the high-end German camera and optics company.
Building owner Aurora Capital Advisors hired Format Architecture to create a modern industrial scheme for the small property located in the Gansevoort Market Historic District between Ninth Avenue and Washington Street.
Renovations include an expansion to 4,000 square feet, new metal surround store windows, a new gray brick façade with a 13-by-14-foot artistic window covered in gray brick latticework, a new 500-square-foot mezzanine plus a new 1,000-square-foot outdoor terrace in the rear — all of which was previously approved by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The property was snapped up by Leica, which opened similar projects in West Hollywood in 2013 and in Boston in 2016, to celebrate photography with “compelling exhibits” and to provide space for events, speakers and its ongoing Leica Akademie seminars.
A Leica spokesman confirmed, “The space will have products for sale, an official Leica Gallery, and will host Akademie workshops. The intent is for the Leica Store & Gallery NY to serve as a destination for photography.”
Charlie Koniver and Gabriel Paisner of Odyssey Retail Advisors represented Leica in the long-term lease, while Aurora was represented in-house by Jared Epstein of Aurora. The brokers did not respond to requests for comment on the deal or terms of the lease.
However, industry sources said the asking rent was $400 per foot under a triple-net deal, which means the tenant will pay for all expenses.
The gallery should be completed and open in mid-2023 on the same block as Sephora, Cache and Marcus.
Leica was founded in 1869 by Ernst Leitz in Germany and is currently owned by an Austrian investment firm, ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH, and the Blackstone Group.
The original Leica 35mm cameras were invented in 1913, but did not go into production until 1926. Leicas are known for their light weight and precision optics in a compact package favored by travelers for landscapes and street photography.
Along with the latest in digital cameras, the company now makes a full range of optics from binoculars and spotting scopes — to range finders and even cameras for smartphones.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.