Tourism brings new leases, new cache to strip of ‘Lower Fifth’

While a particular stretch of Fifth Avenue in the 50s has long been home to the most expensive retail in New York City, it’s less impressive sibling — Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th streets — has begun to rival it in terms of rents and high-profile tenants, the New York Times reported.

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Joe Fresh, Ted Baker London, Tommy Bahama and Lacoste, all high-end fashion retailers, have recently signed leases in the stretch, known as “lower Fifth,” the Times said.

The reason for the strip’s new-found appeal is the rise in international tourism in combination with a dearth of space in the “upper Fifth” region above it, the article states. “If you are a global name, you need to have a flagship presence on Fifth,” Lawrence Longua, a professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, told the Times. “Fifth Avenue to New York is like the Champs-Élysées in Paris; it’s the place where you cannot not be.” [NYT]