By  on June 15, 2006

Top Manhattan retail corridors ranked by their changes in asking rents per square foot.

How is New York's retail rental scene these days? In a word: hot. "What's especially noteworthy," said Michael Slattery, senior vice president of research of the Real Estate Board of New York, "is how improved all of the retail corridors have been. Values are rising, asking rents are up, which is the result of people being positive about New York — with population, tourism and revenues all on the rise, these are all good things for retailers." In REBNY's Spring 2006 Retail Report, average asking rents per square foot for ground-floor space in the 14 major Manhattan corridors surveyed increased 18.8 percent to $329 from the same period last year. "Many stores are trying to gain footholds in neighborhoods in areas like SoHo and further downtown, near the World Trade Center site," Slattery said. "This is sending a positive message to other retailers thinking of entering these areas."

1. TIMES SQUARE: 42ND STREET, BETWEEN SIXTH AND EIGHTH AVENUES
Change in average asking price*: 85.9 percent
2006: $290; 2005: $156
The biggest surge in rent comes from a section of Times Square that was once filled with peep shows, trash and plenty of bums. Nowadays, 42nd Street is showing a more family- and tourist-friendly side. Said Robin Abrams of The Lansco Corp. and REBNY's retail committee, in a statement, "The incredible surge on 42nd Street is the result of the continually improving market in Times Square."

2. MIDTOWN: 57TH STREET, BETWEEN FIFTH AND PARK AVENUES
Change in average asking price: 56.2 percent
2006: $834; 2005: $534
"The high asking prices on the Madison Avenue and 57th Street corridors are attributable to the extreme level of activity as fashion and luxury brand tenants explore options to lease showcase locations," said Abrams. Upscale fashion designer boutiques, such as Burberry, Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, line this busy corridor in mid-Manhattan.

3. TIMES SQUARE: SEVENTH AVENUE, BETWEEN 42ND AND 47TH STREETS
Change in average asking price: 47.9 percent
2006: $473; 2005: $320
Times Square — perhaps one of the busiest and most well-known parts of town for tourists — is also considered a fun shopping mecca. In addition to the scads of souvenir stores and street vendors lining the sidewalks, other touristy-type shops, like the Hershey store, along with well-known retailers such as Quiksilver are scattered along Seventh Avenue.4. SOHO: BROADWAY, BETWEEN HOUSTON AND BROOME STREETS
Change in average asking price: 38.2 percent
2006: $293; 2005: $212
Japanese retailer Uniqlo is making a splash in this part of town: While the development of its 36,000-square-foot Broadway flagship is under way, a temporary shop opens Friday nearby. In addition to Uniqlo's presence, other stores that cater to SoHo's trendy hipster set along Broadway include Canal Jean Co., Prada (which reopened in March after a fire tore through the building) and Puma.

5. EAST SIDE: MADISON AVENUE, BETWEEN 57TH AND 72ND STREETS
Change in average asking price: 35.3 percent
2006: $902; 2005: $667
Manhattan's Madison Avenue broke its own record this year, boasting an impressive average ground floor asking price of $902. This part of the city is hopping with upscale boutiques for women: Prada, Alessandro Dell'Acqua and Valentino proudly display their shops here, while hot shoe and bag boutiques like Jimmy Choo and Furla, along with fine jewelry spots such as Judith Ripka and Fred Leighton, can be found here, too.

6. EAST SIDE: THIRD AVENUE, BETWEEN 60TH AND 72ND STREETS
Change in average asking price: 32.8 percent
2006: $243; 2005: $183
Following right on Madison Avenue's heels is the East Side's Third Avenue, where a more mixed set of retailers has set up shop. Kicking off the lineup is Bloomingdale's, located right at 60th Street and Third Avenue. Moving further north, one can find everything from children's locales like The Children's Place and Spring Flowers Children's Boutique, to more mainstream shops such as Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic and Club Monaco.

7. DOWNTOWN: BROADWAY, BETWEEN BATTERY PARK AND CHAMBERS STREET
Change in average asking price: 31.8 percent
2006: $166; 2005: $126
"There's a general interest in creating more retail downtown that is happening, and getting larger retailers into the WTC site — like Century 21 — can be a successful strategy," said Slattery of REBNY. "There's such an enormous work and residential population near the World Trade Center." In October 2005, The Port Authority officially announced the redevelopment of world-class retail at the World Trade Center site.8. MIDTOWN SOUTH: 34TH STREET, BETWEEN FIFTH AND SEVENTH AVENUES
Change in average asking price: 30.5 percent
2006: $313; 2005: $240
This busy part of town caters to all kinds of folks — tourists, commuters, residents and professionals consistently keep this corridor in high demand. In addition to the plethora of shops along the strip, a number of tourist destinations can be found in the neighborhood, including the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden. Located along 34th Street is the Macy's Herald Square flagship, along with H&M, Victoria's Secret and Gap.

9. FLATIRON: FIFTH AVENUE, BETWEEN 14TH AND 23RD STREETS
Change in average asking price: 24.4 percent
2006: $235; 2005: $189
This is a retail-heavy stretch located just north of Union Square and 14th Street. Hot retailers such as Anthropologie, Express, J. Crew and Coach have made their way onto the strip. Restaurants mainly are relegated to streets off the Fifth Avenue corridor, but there are a bevy of beauty merchants, such as Sephora, Aveda and Bath & Body Works.

10. WEST SIDE: BROADWAY, BETWEEN 72ND AND 86TH STREETS
Change in average asking price: 17.2 percent
2006: $273; 2005: $233
Manhattan's Upper West Side, a popular residential locale, is also a great shopping destination. Flanked by The Shops at Columbus Circle mall (located in the Time Warner Center) to the south and Columbia University to the north, merchants such as Fishs Eddy (housewares), The Body Shop and Barney's Co-op take care of both residents and students — and plenty of tourists as well — and their shopping needs.

11. TIMES SQUARE: BROADWAY, BETWEEN 42ND AND 47TH STREETS
Change in average asking price: 15.1 percent
2006: $381; 2005: $331
This other corridor of Times Square, located right next to No. 3-ranked Seventh Avenue, houses plenty of additional retailers and businesses, as well. Toys ‘R' Us on Broadway at 44th Street and Virgin Megastore, between 45th and 46th Streets, are two of the largest retailers in the area. Big business has also infiltrated the neighborhood: Companies like Reuters, Ernst & Young and WWD's parent, Condé Nast, populate this section of town.12. TRIBECA: HUDSON STREET, BETWEEN CHAMBERS AND CANAL STREETS
Change in average asking price: 14.5 percent
2006: $79; 2005: $69
Located on the west side of Manhattan downtown, the area known as TriBeCa (the "Triangle Below Canal Street") is fast becoming an upscale residential haven. Unique shopping spots for residents include Baker TriBeCa (housewares), Jacques Torres Chocolate and Sorelle Firenze (women's clothing). End your shopping spree along Hudson Street at one of the local dining spots, which include Nobu, Bubby's, Chanterelle and Danube.

13. MIDTOWN: FIFTH AVENUE, BETWEEN 49TH AND 59TH STREETS
Change in average asking price: 13.8 percent
2006: $844; 2005: $742
The GM Building (767 Fifth Avenue, between 58th and 59th Streets) has had an impressive impact on rents in this particular part of town. Tenants such as Apple have taken up residence in the lower retail plaza, while FAO Schwarz serves as a major tourist spot on the main level. Nearby high-end retailers include Bergdorf Goodman, Harry Winston, Henri Bendel and Tiffany & Co.

14. UPPER MANHATTAN: 125TH STREET, RIVER TO RIVER
Change in average asking price: 4.5 percent
2006: $94; 2005: $90
Harlem isn't just Bill Clinton's playground these days. "Upper Manhattan is an area that has much potential," said REBNY's Slattery. "There's talk about new hotels, more higher-end retail — it's an area that has seen a great deal of activity and appreciation." The retail growth stems back to the 2000 opening of Harlem U.S.A., which brought in retailers such as Old Navy and Nine West. H&M and Starbucks have also made their presence known on 125th Street.

Source: Real estate board of new york's SPRING 2006 REPORT; *asking price is as of MARCH 2006, per square foot, available ground-floor space only

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