Banks taking a realistic approach to rents

March 24, 2009 08:31AM

While banks used to pay higher than normal rents for new branches in the city, they are now taking a more realistic approach, Manhattan retail brokers say. Instead of making first offers higher than, and sometimes double, the asking rent, those banks that are still looking to expand are being more careful about costs, said Cory Zelnik, a principal of Zelnik & Co.  Lansco President Alan Victor said JPMorgan Chase created an artificial market for retail rents when it took space in the GM Building for $1,100 a foot three years ago. Chase, TD Bank and Bank of America fought over a site at Fifth Avenue and 14th Street, and Chase won it by paying $350 per foot at the location where the going rate was $250 to $275 a foot, Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope Consolo said. Today, Cushman & Wakefield’s Joanne Podell said, the bank bidding wars for branch sites are over.

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