The most expensive retail streets by rent per square foot in North America.

Its got to be a nice boost for a retailer’s reputation to open a store on one of the most expensive streets this side of the Atlantic. Colliers International’s top retail streets in North America by square-foot rents showcase a bevy of the most well-known shopping strips around. “On many of these streets, we’re starting to see edgier retail come in to help cater to the younger, trendier crowds that work in the downtown districts,” explained Ross Moore, director of research for Colliers. “You also see entertainment and dining venues filtered into these retail districts — these businesses will bring even more people to the streets as well.”

1. Fifth Avenue/57th Street, New York
Rent per square foot: $950
An abundance of upscale retailers reside along this stretch of Fifth Avenue in Midtown, including Fendi, Gucci, Cartier and Prada. Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Henri Bendel also have their flagships proudly displayed nearby.

2. Geary Street/Union Square, San Francisco
Rent per square foot: $450
Situated just west of Union Square in San Francisco is a shopping district containing major department stores and specialty shops. The main attraction — Geary Street — contains shops, art galleries and luxury hotels like The Savoy and The Clift Hotel.

3. Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles
Rent per square foot: $300
New tenants are making their way onto Rodeo Drive, including the London-based jewelry house Graff and Max Azria’s latest BCBG boutique. Other exclusive, upscale boutiques like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior line Rodeo Drive. Surprisingly, however, there are very few restaurants to satiate hungry shoppers’ appetites.

4. North Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Rent per square foot: $245
Billing itself as “one of the most robust, dynamic retail environments in the world,” the 900 North Michigan Shops mall is a landmark building (located on a street with the same name) that hosts 70 stores, such as Coach, Stuart Weitzman and United Colors of Benetton, all in an elegant setting.

This story first appeared in the October 13, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

5. Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
Rent per square foot: $180
As the main road through Waikiki in Honolulu, Kalakaua Avenue features many shops, which range from beachwear to upscale boutiques such as Hermès and Tiffany. A number of shopping centers are also located here, including 2100 Kalakaua Avenue and the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

6. Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas
Rent per square foot: $175
Most people know this hot section of Las Vegas as The Strip. Some of the biggest hotel-casinos have added retail centers to their properties, including The Forum Shops at Caesars and the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. The newest addition: Wynn Las Vegas Esplanade, which opened this past April and holds 75,000 square feet of retail shops, including Dior and Oscar de la Renta.

7. Bloor Street, Toronto
Rent per square foot: $157.25 provides a detailed outline of this popular corridor, named after Joseph Bloor, the original developer of the region in the last century. Emporio Armani, Banana Republic and Roots all have shops here. A number of the street’s malls are connected underground, providing even easier access for busy shoppers.

8. Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
Rent per square foot: $144.50
Robson Street’s commercial development dates back to the late 1800s, when train tracks were laid along the street and a variety of small shops were developed to cater to Vancouver’s growing population. Well-known names such as Bebe, Aveda and American Eagle are here, but unique shops like $15 Boutique and bw2, both of which sell jewelry and accessories, are also popular with shoppers.

9. Newbury Street, Boston
Rent per square foot: $130
Retailers along Newbury Street include designer clothiers such as Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson, while sidewalk cafes and art galleries offer visitors plenty of downtime — shopping along this strip is shared between residents and tourists from all over the world.

10. St. Catherine Street, Montreal
Rent per square foot: $114.75
This is the most popular shopping district in the city, and department stores such as Ogilvy’s are located here, along with upscale complexes like the Eaton Centre and Montreal Trust Tower. Similar to Toronto’s Bloor Street, Montreal has its own underground city of passageways that connect over 1,500 shops in those complexes.

11. Westheimer road, Houston
Rent per square foot: $93
One of the largest malls (by gross leasable area), The Galleria is located on this popular retail strip in Houston. WWD reported in June that The Galleria attracts 24 million visitors per year and houses almost 400 stores and restaurants; other attractions include two Westin hotels and a full-size ice rink.

12. Walnut Street, Philadelphia *
Rent per square foot: $90
Walnut Street is home to Rittenhouse Row, which holds over 200 upscale dining, retail and cultural establishments. The range of retailers here is extensive — Urban Outfitters, Puma, Kiehl’s, Brooks Brothers and Diesel all have units here. Rittenhouse Row is also loaded with art galleries, luxurious spas and salons, restaurants and cafes.

13. Prospect/Girard Street, San Diego *
Rent per square foot: $90
Located in La Jolla, one of the swankiest areas of the country, Prospect Street is inundated with boutiques such as Robina, Nicole Miller and the Philippe Charriol Boutique flagship. Also on Prospect Street is George’s at the Cove, a great stop for drinks at sunset, as its ocean view is one of the best in San Diego.

14. Main Street, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Rent per square foot: $72
Main Street in Northern California has become a popular retail thoroughfare, thanks mainly to a recent boom in developing upscale retail centers. Other apparel hot spots include Elisa Wen and Hush. Main Street is also known for its consignment shops, like Main Street Rags, which is stocked with designs from Banana Republic, Gap and Liz Claiborne.

Source: Colliers International, north America Retail real estate highlights 2005, Ross Moore, Director of Research. Only one streetfront is represented from each metro area. Canadian cities all converted to u.s. dollars. *Indicates a tie.

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