REBNY Retail Report: Asking Rents See Increases, Some More Subtle, in Prime Manhattan Shopping Corridors

--Retailers both international and domestic continue to show interest in high-traffic areas; steeper increases in other well-known, but less exclusive corridors--

– Demonstrating retailers’ continued interest in New York City’s hot retail market, ground floor asking rents for available retail space in Manhattan’s prime shopping destinations increased in the first quarter of 2015 in all but one of the 17 corridors surveyed, year over year, according to The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY’s) Spring Retail Report.

While the increases were more modest along some of the most exclusive blocks than in recent reports, the average asking rent for ground floor space on Fifth Avenue, between 49th and 59th streets, traditionally New York City’s most expensive corridor, increased four percent from the Spring 2014 Retail Report to $3,683.  Asking rents on the ground floor on Madison Avenue between 57th and 72nd streets also saw an increase with the average asking rent per square foot increasing by three percent to $1,700, compared to last spring.

“Our retail advisory group reports asking rents stabilizing in some areas; retailers both international and domestic continue to show interest and are making deals in the City’s most highly trafficked shopping destinations on Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue and in Times Square,” said Steven Spinola, REBNY President. “What our report found is that the steepest increases in asking rents were in other popular shopping destinations, some of which have concurrently seen an uptick in residential development.”

The biggest increases in asking rents for ground floor retail space this quarter were in other popular corridors including East 57th Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue where rents surged 60 percent to $1,600 per square foot and Third Avenue between 60th and 72nd streets where average asking rents surged 39 percent to $363 per square foot. Broadway between 72nd and 86th streets also saw a significant boost in asking rents climbing 37 percent to $390 per square foot. The East 86th Street corridor between Lexington Avenue and Second Avenue which has undergone a retail transformation also saw a solid increase in asking rents up 19 percent to $456 per square foot, as a result of new residential development catering to growing families.

Other notable corridors this quarter include lower Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th streets, which saw rents jump 17 percent to $1,200 per square foot. The Meatpacking District corridor, along 14th Street between 9th and 10th avenues, also saw a healthy 10 percent increase with greater foot traffic from the High Line, Chelsea Market and the recent opening of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

REBNY’s Retail report compiles data about asking rents for available space provided by a broad cross-section of the city’s leading retail brokers. The report is compiled twice a year in the spring and fall.

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