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Retail Rents Are Up in Manhattan, (Almost) Across the Board

H&M, one of Fifth Avenue's big-chain anchors. Photo by Brian Harkin
H&M, one of Fifth Avenue's big-chain anchors. Photo by Brian Harkin

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A lengthy article in today's Commercial Observer examines the rising rents of retail properties in various Manhattan neighborhoods, from Greenwich Village to Midtown. Overall: Prices are up and vacancies are down, and not just for the tony Upper East Side boutiques on Madison Avenue. Locations that were once less highly-regarded, like Fifth Avenue in the 40s, are also seeing an influx of new tenants. Read on for four of the most interesting points.

Fifth Avenue's rents are on the rise.
According to the Real Estate Board of New York's Retail Report, the rents on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 59th Streets "eclipsed all other markets in the city, with average asking rents clocking in at $2,690." They also noted that here, "vacancy is particularly low." Recent newcomers adding to those statistics include Ted Baker and Tommy Bahama, who will be joined by another behemoth—H&M—at 48th Street next year.

Madison Avenue between 50th and 57th Street is having a moment.
For years, it's been the general notion that having a store below 57th Street on Madison Avenue isn't quite the same as having one above it. That's still pretty true, but a number of big names have recently chosen to go on the south side of the neighborhood's own Mason Dixon line. Recent examples include Tourneau and IWC Schaffhausen, who both opened flagships below 55th Street.

Retail around Bleecker Street is expanding.
Now that Arleen Bowman has shuttered on Bleecker Street, the street north of 10th Street has zero independent boutiques. The CO reports that big retailers are now expanding south, too, "between Christopher Street and Bleecker's intersection with Seventh Avenue South." New names here include Saint James, and soon, menswear brand Jeremy Argyle.

North of 25th Street on Madison Avenue is still not happening.
According to Gene Spiegelman, an executive vp president of brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield, the area thought to boom by real estate execs has yet to do so. "People thought there'd be a reason to have retail there, but nothing has evolved. So, not everything gentrifies."
· Retail's Big Renaissance [Commercial Observer]

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