In Manhattan retail, downtown is where all the lights are bright.
Real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield said in a press conference Wednesday morning that the market continues to be strong in Manhattan in 2013, with Soho seeing the highest increase in demand and asking rent.
“The significant amount of recent leasing activity in the [neighborhood] has largely been driven by some of the world’s most notable fashion and luxury brands,” said Michael O’Neill, a Cushman & Wakefield senior director of retail, citing Stuart Weitzman, Michael Kors, Prada, Saint Laurent and Rebecca Minkoff as big names propping up the desirability of the neighborhood.
“These commitments have created desirable co-tenancy, fueled increased demand and resulted in a significant year-over-year increase in rent expectations,” he added.
The average ground-floor asking rent per square foot in Soho has increased 35 percent since the last quarter, the largest increase of the 10 retail corridors that the firm tracks, with global brands driving high street activity.
Average asking rent on Broadway surged 52.7 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2013, to $756 per square foot. On Mercer Street, they nearly doubled to $269, from $150.
But Prince Street commands the most princely sum of $850 per square foot, or a 65.4 percent increase from the first quarter of 2012.
Meanwhile, the Meatpacking District, Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue all continue to be hotspots for retail real estate as well.
“New York continues to outperform the nation,” said Ken McCarthy, chief economist at Cushman.