Report: Retail rents jump in NYC tourist hot spots

New York City -- Asking rents for retail spaces in New York City hot spots are rising in certain corridors, according to The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) Fall 2010 Retail Report.

According to the report, since spring 2010, retail asking rents climbed 21% to $1700 per square foot in the Times Square corridor defined by Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 47th Streets.

Other popular tourist destinations that are showing a steady growth in retail rents compared with fall 2009 include the West Village on Bleecker Street between 7th Avenue South and Hudson Street where rents increased 38% over 2009 to $486 per square foot. Fifth Avenue from 49th to 59th Streets and 42nd to 49th Streets, showed 15% and 10% increases respectively, including the deal, which is said to be the largest retail lease in Manhattan: the 90,000-sq.-foot Uniqlo at 666 Fifth Avenue.

As the report suggests, the growth in these retail corridors indicates that stores are more optimistic that the economic recovery will continue and that their stores will be profitable in these tourist hot spots.

“Asking rents that are lower than they were during the high point in our economy a few years ago are giving retailers the opportunity to locate in corridors that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to break into and many seem to be taking advantage of this,” said REBNY president Steven Spinola. “As a result of these opportunities in premiere retail areas, the retail space market has become competitive again and average rents are rising.”

Other report highlights:

  • The average asking price per square foot in Manhattan rose 4% from spring 2010 to $118 per square foot.
  • Compared with fall of 2009, asking retail rents for ground floor space on Madison Avenue between 57th and 72nd Streets increased 14% to $1,049 per square foot.