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New York Retail Rents: Ever-Upward, Highest in the US

Retail rents in choice New York locations continue their steady, upward march, says “Manhattan Retail Market,” a Fall 2013 CBRE report.

CBRE is a real estate research, investment and commercial real estate services firm.

A square foot of retail property on the strip of Fifth Avenue from 49th to 59th now rents at more than $3,000.  The CBRE report pegs the average rental price at $3,150 a square foot, America’s costliest retail footprint.

Along the few blocks of Fifth Avenue south of 49th to 42nd, retail rentals average $1,082 a square foot, seemingly a bargain compared to New York’s top prices, although an increase of 146 percent over 2009 prices.

Luxury retailers who want a Fifth Avenue address are unlikely to had south of 49th in the immediate future, according to CBRE executive vice president Susan Kurland.

A short supply of and increased demand for available space, however, could change that pattern, she said at a recent presentation of CBRE research findings included in the report.

But Fifth Avenue isn’t the only game in The Big Apple, Ms. Kurland remarked.  Luxury tenants have also been attracted to retail space at the new World Trade Center, Brookfield Place, and to Hudson Yards, where a new development  has become an desirable location.

But wherever a retailer, luxury or otherwise, wants to operate, New York rental space continues its upward march.

Rents at Herald Square, for example, at 34th street from Fifth to Seventh Avenues, now average $738 a square foot and could inch up to $1,000 a square foot.  In 2011, Herald Square retail rentals ran at $500 a square foot.

The CBRE report predicts the likelihood of continuing increases in rental prices.