Retail tenants venture afield for high-traffic, low-rent options

From left: 475 Fifth Avenue, 701 Seventh Avenue and 1333 Broadway
From left: 475 Fifth Avenue, 701 Seventh Avenue and 1333 Broadway

As retail rents continue their skyward climb along Fifth Avenue north of 49th Street, shop owners are becoming increasingly willing to pursue space in far-flung areas, brokers said.

The 40s south of 49th Street is “half the rent, not half the foot traffic,” they told the New York Post. The area between Fifth and Times Square is also seeing growing interest, as are areas along Broadway between Madison Square Park and Union Square Park — where pedestrian traffic is 24 percent higher than on Fifth Avenue. Indeed, the anecdotal evidence echoes the findings of a Jones Lang Lasalle report The Real Deal reported on earlier today.

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For example, RKF CEO Robert Futterman is marketing 44,420 square feet spread across four levels at 475 Fifth Avenue, on the southeast corner of 41st Street by Central Park; and a Whole Foods is rumored to be in the works for the Blackstone Group’s 1095 Sixth Avenue, between West 42nd and West 43rd streets. A Times Square Edition hotel development is slated for 701 Seventh Avenue, between West 47th and West 48th streets, and an Urban Outfitters is slated to set up shop in Anthony Malkin’s 1333 Broadway, between West 35th and 36th streets.

Small luxury retailers, meanwhile, are focusing on Prince, Spring and Mercer streets in Soho, just off the high-traffic, high-rent spots along Broadway. The designer Balenciaga, for example, has a new shop at 148 Mercer Street, while designer Tory Burch will take a redeveloped 151 Mercer.

“I have interest from restaurants, high-end luxury from Europe, local designers … who want to come south and get a bigger space and not pay $500 a foot,” Adelaide Polsinelli of Eastern Consolidated told the Post. [NYP]Julie Strickland