NEW YORK CITY-The latest monthly economic report from the Times Square Alliance shows robust retail activity and a mixed bag of hotel news. The opening of Microsoft’s holiday popup store on October 26 highlighted retail news in the area. The store is one of more than 30 temporary stores opening up in the US and Canada and figures to have brisk traffic during its holiday run.
Here are some of the October report’s highlights: Asking rates for real estate fell for the second straight month, down 4.2% from August. The report attributes the drop to leading of high-value spaces in the Bow Tie Building and continued rate at the 810 7th Ave. office buildings.
Hotels reported weakness following a strong summer. Average rates rose 25%. Occupancy remained strong, highest for the month since at least 2003. The average daily rate for September was just under $300.
October on Broadway was described as strong but quiet, punctuated by closings due to Hurricane Sandy. The theaters lagged 2011 attendance by 119,000 but posted a 10% higher occupancy and lead in gross sales by $2 million. Eight performances were cancelled due to Sandy during the last few days of October.
Pedestrian counts dropped 1.6% from September to October but weekends rose slightly as the district saw the beginnings of its holiday crowds. The month’s busiest day was October 6th with 411,000.
TSA’s report also looks at the progress of selected hotel and retail projects in the area with several major projects progressing toward completion. The 330-room Knickerbocker Hotel, purchased by FelCor Lodging Trust earlier this year, will reopen in late 2013 following a redevelopment and will serve as the REIT’s flagship hotel. The Hilton Garden Inn, a 282-room hotel to be operated by Diamondrock Hospitality is due to open on West 42nd St. in early 2014. Both hotels will have retail space.
Retail space in the Milford Plaza Hotel, soon to be known simply as The Milford, will be available in February.