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Brooklyn Retail Rents, Bucking Trend, Keep Rising

Park Slope, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Retail

Asking retail rents in Brooklyn are on the rise (image via Google Maps)

Oct. 23, 2017

Go figure. As co-op and condo boards scramble to fill their commercial spaces in the face of a grim retail market, rents are actually rising in the majority of Brooklyn’s main retail corridors, according to a new analysis by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

“Overall,” the report states, “the retail landscape in Brooklyn has remained strong amidst a gloomy environment of national retail market reporting. The Brooklyn retail leasing market is now benefitting from new hotel and office projects that have increased foot traffic in Brooklyn neighborhoods. As new residential development expands further throughout the borough, retailer interest has increased in rapidly changing corridors in neighborhoods like Bushwick and Crown Heights.” 

Average asking rents for retail spaces were up year-over-year in 10 of the 15 retail corridors the report examined, DNAinfo reports

“New developments are drawing more attention, particularly from retailers that are looking to develop a presence in Brooklyn as an extension of their Manhattan mainstays,” says REBNY president John Banks. “In spite of shifting national retail market conditions, Brooklyn continues to present attractive storefront opportunities in growing, more densely populated neighborhoods.” 

Prices jumped in Park Slope and Prospect Heights' retail corridors. Park Slope’s Seventh Avenue, between Union and Ninth streets, saw year-over-year prices spike 35 percent to an average asking rent of $124 per square foot. In Prospect Heights, the average asking rent for Flatbush Avenue, between Fifth Avenue and Grand Army Plaza – now home to a bevy of boutique businesses – increased 7 percent this summer compared to a year earlier. 

Meanwhile, many co-op and condo boards are scrambling to fill their commercial spaces. Asking rents have fallen in 14 of 17 prime retail corridors in Manhattan, according to REBNY. In addition to cutting rents, some boards have begun renting to once-verboten businesses such as gyms, bars, and restaurants. Others are signing long-term leases – up to 99 years – on their commercial space as a way of protecting themselves from a future that portends to be less about brick-and-mortar businesses and all about online commerce.

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