Luxury Designers Bag Bargain Store Space in Manhattan’s Soho

Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York. Shutterstock.

Luxury retailers are taking advantage of rent bargains in Manhattan’s Soho neighbourhood.

Chanel, Amiri and La Perla are among tenants that signed leases in the fourth quarter in Soho, where about a third of store space was available, leading many landlords to drop prices, according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Average asking rents dropped more than 15 percent from a year earlier, JLL said, while 13 new retail listings drove up the supply of space in the neighbourhood, known for its ritzy boutiques and galleries.

The luxury deals were “heavily incentivised” and included free rent and kick outs, meaning a tenant can terminate the agreement either at its discretion or based on a sales-performance threshold, the brokerage firm said.

Manhattan’s famed retail districts have taken a big hit over the past year as the pandemic forced countless stores to close for good. Social distancing measures continue to hurt sales at businesses that remain, and tourists and office workers have been slow to return to the city.

Other major shopping corridors, such as Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, also have seen rents tumble amid a surge in available space. Across Manhattan, leasing plummeted 81 percent last year from 2019 and concession packages are growing larger, with landlords offering more than a year of free rent in some cases, JLL said.

By Natalie Wong

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