Real Estate

Empty NYC retail spaces cast pall on key shopping corridors

There’s “rising demand from a various vary of outlets” for Manhattan storefronts, the Actual Property Board of New York crows in its spring 2022 survey of retail exercise. The declare is likely to be true, however rising demand doesn’t instantly or essentially translate into an enormous discount within the variety of vacant shops.

The metrics for the previous six months cited by REBNY undoubtedly present enchancment. Common asking rents per sq. foot in 9 of 17 main purchasing corridors grew from the autumn of 2021 — suggesting that the market is stabilizing after two years of declining rents.

Soho and higher Madison Avenue are seeing curiosity  from excessive trend, sportswear and residential decor corporations.

One yr in the past, most giant new leases had been for meals and beverage and health customers. A brand new, 14,000-square-foot Swarovski lease at 680 Fifth Ave. not solely fills a long-dark area, however represents a transfer upmarket from the Hole outlet that beforehand stuffed the three-level venue.

The closing of Century 21 — which supposedly will reopen with a lot much less area subsequent yr — solid a pall throughout from the World Commerce Middle.
Linda Obuchoska
Brooks Brothers on Madison Avenue
The Brooks Brothers flagship that was previously on Madison Avenue.
Xinhua Information Company/Getty Photographs

One other massive reclamation at a protracted darkish location is Taiwanese eatery Din Tai Fung’s 26,400-square-foot deal at 1633 Broadway. The Michelin-starred noodles-and-dumplings mecca, to be designed by David Rockwell, presumably will draw a extra refined clientele than tourist-trap Mars 2112, which closed 100 years early in 2012.

REBNY credit the fitful restoration to rising shopper demand and an increase in guests to town regardless of Omicron, increased transportation prices and worries about crime.

Even so, it’d  be a very long time earlier than Manhattan’s retail scene absolutely rebounds from the one-two punch of the pandemic and the net purchasing revolution that started taking a toll earlier than anybody heard of COVID-19.

For all the brand new leases, retailer home windows in lots of Manhattan areas — residential and business — stay stuffed with “Prime Retail Area” indicators.

The REBNY doesn’t cite retail emptiness charges, that are lined in a separate report later within the yr. It emphasizes as an alternative that asking rents have ticked upward or at the very least held their very own within the varied corridors.

However as my colleague Kerry Byrne wrote lately, lengthy slices of Broadway look deserted at sidewalk degree. Whereas its Soho portion thrives (together with the remainder of Soho), Broadway south of Houston Avenue has valuable few precise shops past hair salons and some funky artwork galleries.

Manhattan store for rent sign
It is likely to be a very long time earlier than Manhattan’s retail scene absolutely rebounds.
AP

Madison Avenue nonetheless reels from the losses of Barneys, Brooks Brothers and most lately, Harman Kardon.  Empty home windows hang-out pedestrians, particularly within the East 60s.

Vacant storefronts really outnumber stuffed ones in components of the FiDi space. The closing of Century 21 — which supposedly will reopen with a lot much less area subsequent yr — solid a pall throughout from the World Commerce Middle. Fulton Avenue can boast of thriving Brookfield Place and the rejuvenated South Avenue Seaport at its east and west  ends, however between them lies a miserable sea of vacancies. Even neighborhood fast-food locations and shoe-repair retailers closed and have but to get replaced.

So whereas it’s reliable to say {that a} nascent restoration  is happening, let nobody suppose that every one these “for lease” indicators will disappear quickly.

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