Struggling retailers seeking rent reductions reaches “epidemic” proportions

Some tenants are asking for reductions of up to 50%
September 21, 2017 10:30AM

Soho shopping (Credit: Steven Pisano via Flickr)

Sky-high retail rents have stores in some of New York City’s prime shopping districts aggressively seeking relief.

Real estate players say they are getting calls every day from stores asking for rent reductions of as much as 50 percent, according to the New York Post. Douglas Elliman retail chair Faith Hope Consolo told the paper it was an “epidemic.”

The stores are in trendy New York neighborhoods like Soho and the Meatpacking District and along famed shopping streets like Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, where asking rents have dropped between 25 and 50 percent over the past few years. In fact, the stores that are doing fairly well in this climate are cheaper chains like Costco, T.J. Maxx and Family Dollar.

JLL now has a division dedicated to working out such issues between retailers and their landlords, although one Manhattan owner told the Post he had virtually no sympathy for his struggling stores.

“None of those tenants would agree to pay more rent to me if I asked them to because the market had gone up,” the landlord said.

Earlier this month, The Real Deal looked at the various tricks that New York City retail landlords use to make their properties appear more valuable than they are. [NYP]Eddie Small