Retail rents for Times Square are starting to give Fifth Avenue a run for its money, according to Crain’s. Rates in the tourist hub reached as much as $2,400 a square foot in the fourth quarter of last year, a 42 percent increase from 2011’s final three months. Last month, the Sunglass Hut inked a deal with Vornado Realty Trust for 1540 Broadway, between 45th and 46th streets, at $2,025 a square foot.
A rash of new developments are expected to keep rents climbing. One notable project is 701 Seventh Avenue, on West 47th Street, where a 500-room Marriott Edition boutique hotel with 85,000 square feet of retail space is set to rise.
As The Real Deal previously reported, Manhattan landlords with building’s on side streets or in less touristy areas are attempting to compete with Times Square’s sky-high rents by offering tenant incentives such as free rent or improvements fit the needs of specific tenants. [Crain’s] —Christopher Cameron