The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is issuing a request for proposals Thursday to find a manager for 70,000 square feet of high-end retail space under construction at the Fulton Street Transit Center. While the Wall Street Journal noted that this is just some of the nearly 1 million square feet of new retail space being prepared for the area, retail brokers believe there is enough demand to fill the flood of new supply.
Though Lower Manhattan’s retail real estate has struggled in the past, the forthcoming spaces at the World Trade Center, the Fulton Center, the World Financial Center and at the South Street Seaport are far more attractive because they are brighter, glassy projects that are sure to come with more food purveyors, the Journal said. It’s a stark contrast from the “shadowy” storefronts found along the area’s hard-to-navigate streetscape.
Plus, a residential boom in the neighborhood and a huge tourism uptick make Lower Manhattan more attractive than it’s been for retail at any point before, or since, the 9/11 attacks. Finally, the addition of Condé Nast and other non-financial office tenants to the neighborhood will lure new types of retailers, according to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jeffrey Roseman.
“There’s not a single retailer who’s going to say, ‘I’m not looking down there,’” added Chase Welles, an executive vice president at Northwest Atlantic Real Estate Services. [WSJ]