NYC Retail Rents Among World’s Highest

December 21, 2012 / Written by Corporate Suites Staff

New York City is well known for its shopping, with landmark locations of almost every major retailer, particularly fashion retailers, in the city. People come from around the world, particularly in the Christmas season, to visit some of the largest, most luxurious retail establishments in the world.

NYC’s Globally Recognized Shopping Districts

The shopping districts in the city are many and varied, from busy, extravagant flagship stores of Times Square – which the landmark Toys R Us location contains an indoor Ferris wheel – to Fifth Avenue, known for luxury. Stores like Saks Fifth Ave, Lord And Taylor and Macy’s set their flagship locations in Midtown Center, along with 7th and 5th Avenues, with tens of thousands of square feet in floor space – and windows with stunning displays lining the heavily-traveled streets of Midtown Manhattan. Further south, boutique retailers line the avenues and streets of Soho and the Meatpacking district; and Brooklyn has emerged in its own right as a retail hotbed, with local businesses and national chains alike carving a stake into neighborhoods like Williamsburg and the Atlantic Yards / Barclays Center.


With all this activity – from travelers coming from across the country and across the globe, along with affluent residents both in the city itself and suburbs – makes it no surprise that New York City is a premier retail district. But just how strong the demand is may be surprising.

New York City Comes in at #2

In a recent report from CBRE Group, New York City is only second to Hong Kong for the highest retail rents in the world. Compared to Hong Kong, New York City seems like a bargain: Hong Kong retailers, on average, pay approximately $4,300 per square foot, per year for retail space. New York City’s retailers pay on average $2,900 per square foot, per year for retail space.

Like any city, demand and price are stronger in some areas rather than others. The managing director of CBRE Group’s Retail Services Division, Anthony Buono, noted “We are continuing to see strong demand and price velocity on the very best, most active retailer corridors in gateway cities…..Particularly in Manhattan, where every brand must be located in order to claim a ‘global’ identity.” Retail, much like financial services and marketing, sees a New York City office location as critical to maintaining and establishing global legitimacy and identity. The highest impact corridors in New York include Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Times Square, and Soho/Meatpacking, per the CBRE report. Other international cities noted for their strong retail demand in the report include Tokyo, London, Paris, and Moscow.

With Christmas less then a week away, we are sure these retailers will see returns on their investments as shoppers descend upon Manhattan to complete their last-minute shopping!