Manhattan retail asking rents improve

May 20, 2010 11:30AM

Steven Spinola

Average retail asking rents in most of Manhattan’s prime corridors are higher than they were in the fall but remain lower than they were at this point one year ago, the spring retail report from the industry group Real Estate Board of New York released today show.

The REBNY report, issued each fall and spring, covers 16 retail corridors in Manhattan from Harlem to the Financial District.

Asking rents rose in 11 of 16 districts since the last report was issued in November, but only four neighborhoods saw asking rents that were higher than reported in the spring report from May 2009.

“This increase [in asking rents] reflects the nascent nation economic recovery and improving local market conditions as well,” the report says.

For example, asking rents in Herald Square, on 34th Street from Fifth to Seventh avenues, was $500 per square foot in the most recent report, an increase of 19 percent from the fall, but still below the asking rent of $508 per foot in May 2009.

Asking rents rose sharply on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 59th streets, where they are now $2,300, up 41 percent from last year, the report says. But in other neighborhoods, asking rents were off sharply.

Downtown, from Battery Park to Chambers Street along Broadway, asking rents were $135 per foot, down 46 percent from last May.
— Adam Pincus