As Rock Center attracts more fashion retailers, commands higher rents

August 27, 2012 10:00AM

Tourists won’t be the only shoppers stampeding to Rockefeller Center if Tishman Speyer gets its way. Crain’s reported the landlord is remaking the retail at its iconic complex, in an effort to “bridge the gap” between the tenants of Fifth Avenue in the streets numbered in the mid-40s and those in the 50s.

Last week menswear shop Onassis opened at 30 Rockefeller Center, replacing a souvenir shop. This year apparel chain Free People and handbag company Longchamp also opened around the center, and Canadian fashion store Aritzia (replacing Espirit), Michael Kors (replacing Kenneth Cole at 610 Fifth Avenue) and hip coffee shop Blue Bottle have also signed on for spaces.

Crain’s said Rock Center draws 350,000 people per day, and half a million people during the holidays. Higher-end brands have increasingly responded to that, and are taking the place of mid-market stores that moved in at the turn of the century.

Now, the asking rent for the 21,600-square-foot Faconnable space that’s currently on the market, at 636 Fifth Avenue, is more than $1,800 per foot. Two years ago, asking rents were closer to $1,000 per foot, Crain’s indicated.

“There are a lot of like-minded retailers in one shot,” said Robin Abrams, executive vice president and retail brokerage Lansco. [Crain’s]Adam Fusfeld