West Broadway’s low rents bring galleries back to Soho

October 18, 2011 09:46AM

The same retail market dynamics that helped push galleries and boutiques from Soho to other neighborhoods like Chelsea are now luring them back to their original home. According to the Wall Street Journal, lower rents along West Broadway have made it appealing to the types of Shops That Once Called Broadway, Spring and Prince streets home.

A wave of galleries and boutiques have moved onto the street in recent months, thanks to rents that sit at just $200 per square foot, compared to the $400 per foot landlords on the street were charging three years ago. It’s also far less than the $500 per-square-foot landlords of Retail Spaces On Broadway, Prince and Spring streets are commanding.

Of course, the retail market dynamics behind this revival could also ensure it’s short lived. Just like earlier this decade when the street experienced a decline thanks to overly ambitious landlords, rents will likely bounce back on West Broadway in the near future. But this time around, judging by the slew of chains to come to nearby Broadway recently — and the openings of a Nordstrom charity store called Treasure & Bond and Piero Guidi and Porsche Design stores on West Broadway — West Broadway could find national chains willing to pay inflated rents.

“I Believe That West Broadway will be challenging Broadway [in rents] by the first quarter of next year,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of retail services at Prudential Douglas Elliman. [WSJ]