Luxury corridors lose big brands as online labels open edgy shops

April 17, 2019

While the high-wattage opening of Hudson Yards’ shops and restaurants in March reinvigorated the retail landscape, lease signings for major retail brands along luxury corridors have dropped off to a trickle.

“In a normal market cycle, we’d see 15 or 20 deals [in the Madison and Fifth avenue corridor], and we are seeing only three to five,” observes Gene Spiegelman of Ripco Real Estate, who emphasized that retail deals are still getting signed at a regular clip in residential neighborhoods and in the outer boroughs.

Despite closures, big brands are staying in the area. The reopening of the Apple store in June at 767 Fifth Ave. will revitalize that stretch and allow Under Armour to start its own build-out. Celine is already open at 650 Madison, and Balenciaga is readying a grand opening at 620 Madison. Moncler and Warby Parker are also are looking to add locations in the area.

Other boroughs, too, are being scrutinized for potential. For example, Staten Island is currently underserved when it comes to experiential retail and residential projects. “It is more open to development than some of the other areas,” says Peter Curry, a partner at law firm Farrell Fritz.

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