Nordstrom’s deal for a 300,000-square-foot department store on West 57th Street may be exactly what was needed to help advance the retail scene on one of Manhattan’s most storied streets, according to the New York Post.
The thoroughfare is riddled with empty storefronts because landlords refuse to reduce their asking rents to reflect the current reality. “Generally, no landlords on 57th Street adjusted their rents during the downturn,” said Faith Hope Consolo, who heads Prudential Douglas Elliman’s retail leasing division.
As a result, real estate that would make for prime retail, like Shledon Solow’s space at 9 West 57th Street, has sat vacant. Even landlords who are willing to come down in asking price, do so only temporarily for pop-up stores.
Now, Consolo and other brokers say retail is moving west along 57th Street beyond Fifth Avenue. The progress on three new hotels, including the Park Hyatt at the base of One57, will bring new foot traffic to the corridor, and come 2018, when Nordstrom opens, more landlords might respond to the shoppers by turning on the lights in their stores.
LeFrak Organization Chairman Richard LeFrak, told the Post, “It’s kind of strange that as you go down the block 100 feet west from Bergdorf Goodman and you’re in no man’s land.”
“You’d think that with a lot of Retailers Getting Priced Off Fifth Avenue, there’d be some [leasing] activity on West 57th,” said LeFrak, whose company owns the office tower at 40 West. 57th Street. “It’s inexplicable to me there’s such a void.”