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The Times has delved deep into the fickle world of retail rents, uncovering the shockingly mundane factors that can translate to huge price discrepancies. Most notably is sunshine: the side of the street that sees more rays commands higher rent.
On Fifth Avenue between 49th and 59th Streets—the city's most expensive stretch—rents go for an additional $500 per square foot on the sunny east side of the street. Similarly, the north side of 57th Street goes for double what the shady south side commands per square foot.
Surprise, surprise: people gravitate toward the sunny side of the street. Another shocker: merchandise in store windows looks prettier in natural lighting. Other factors that lead to more foot traffic (and, thus, higher rents) include subway exits and other stores. "Your neighbors are very important," said Uniqlo's United States CEO.
· Street's Sunny Side Costs Retailers More in Rent [NYT]