The average asking rent for all available retail space in Manhattan fell 11
percent between fall 2008 and spring 2009, the first meaningful decline since September 11, 2001, according to the Real Estate Board of New
York’s spring 2009 retail report.
Some areas, however, saw rents increase. Ground-floor average asking rents
in Times Square increased
71 percent between spring 2009 and the same time last year. The average asking rent in the area — on Broadway and Seventh Avenue, between 42nd and
47th streets — where Forever 21 and American Eagle are opening,
reached $1,381 per square foot this spring, up from $809 during the
same time last year. The median asking rent jumped 79 percent, to
$1,450 a foot from $809.
The Flatiron District, on Fifth Avenue between 14th and 23rd
streets, saw the biggest asking rent declines. The average asking rent
fell 29 percent to $285 per square foot, down from $401 a foot last
year, and the median rent fell 38 percent in the area, down to $250 a
foot from $400.
Meanwhile, other top shopping districts saw rents fall. Retailers have been moving around on Madison
Avenue, between 57th and 72nd streets, where average asking rents fell 8
percent year-over-year to $979 per square foot, and the median asking
rent fell 11 percent to $1,000 a foot from $1,121. And in Herald
Square, on 34th Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues, rents fell 23
percent to $508 a foot, with the median rent falling 26 percent to $500
The average rent on Soho’s Broadway, which brokers say is surviving the downturn, inched up 7 percent to $454 per square foot
this spring, and median rents increased 14 percent to $480 from $421. TRD