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Madison Avenue's Back, Baby: Over 60 Openings Since 2010

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Today's WSJ points out that Madison Avenue, once considered a recession casualty, has bounced back. During the boom years, rents on the strip between 57th and 72nd could go as high as $1500 a square foot. Then the market fell apart, and rents dropped to $500 per square foot as retailers like Christian Dior, Yves St. Laurent, and Sonia Rykiel all jumped ship. Now, though, the Madison Avenue BID reports over 60 openings since January 2010, and rents are back up to pre-bust levels. Above, we've pulled together a slideshow of notable recent and upcoming openings, a list that even includes onetime defector Céline.

Observers in the world of retail real estate sound cautiously optimistic about these changes, but they also warn against repeating recent history. The economy hasn't exactly returned to where it was before 2008, and luxury retail is a particularly fragile enterprise. One expert told the Journal that a single bad headline can undo months of gains.
· An Avenue's Shaky Rebirth [WSJ, subscription req'd]