Madison Avenue gets less stuffy in latest revival

August 16, 2012 10:00AM

As recent retail lease deals have indicated, Madison Avenue north of East 60th Street is undergoing a resurgence. But according to the New York Times, it’s not only the classic, ultra-luxury brands that are driving the growth; downtown clothing boutiques that appeal to a younger audience are also filling up the storefronts.

In the last few months alone several Meatpacking District and Soho stalwarts, including Vince, Sandro and Yigal Azrouel have opened on Madison Avenue in the 70s. In total, nearly 50 stores have opened on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side in the last 18 months. Meanwhile, the Times said traditional Madison Avenue brands, such as Lanvin and Chanel, have expanded their presence on the thoroughfare. 

The revival is in part due to landlords, finally, after years of reluctance, lowering rents in 2011. Spaces were quickly snapped up and now asking rents are again hovering around $1,500 per foot. That, in part, prompted Friedland Properties to pay more than $7,000 per foot for a retail building on Madison Avenue and East 63rd Street yesterday.

In addition to the younger clientele, Madison Avenue is, for the first time, taking on an international flavor that marks a departure from its years as “the world’s most insular shopping mall,” the Times said.

“They think I’m a bakery!” Faith Hope Consolo, the chairman of the retail group of Douglas Elliman, told the New York Times. “Designers call from Europe and Asia, and they all ask me, ‘Is there a building available on Madison Avenue?’” [NYT]Adam Fusfeld