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NEW YORK CITY- A new report has been published by the Real Estate Board of New York on the amount of retail space available in Manhattan, along with average asking rents and average stores sizes. Based on data supplied by a dozen of the city’s leading brokerage firms, it is scheduled to appear on a biannual basis.

Board member Robin Abrams of the Lansco Corp. notes that, “previously there was no reliable source of retail rents, and those that were quoted were felt by many brokers to be inaccurate, which complicated the leasing process.” REBNY hopes this situation will be ameliorated by the report, which board president Steve Spinola describes as, the “most comprehensive and objective record of retail rents in Manhattan.”

The 17-page document covers 2,919 stores averaging $96 per sf in six markets with an aggregate of more than 12.5 million sf of leaseable space. Those sectors are listed below from the highest to the lowest average asking price per sf. Also included is the average store size, rounded to the lowest hundred sf.

East Side: $133 per sf; 3,600 sf

Midtown: $115 per sf; 7,000 sf<p.West Side: $103 per sf, 5,100 sf

Midtown South: $79 per sf; 6,000 sf

Downtown: $67 per sf; 6,600 sf

Upper Manhattan: $51; 6,600 sf

Commercial real estate has been sold here for quite some time although it is only now that a reliable benchmark has become available. Why the delay? Abrams says that there was some resistance by brokerage firms to disclosing data that they regarded as proprietary.The report also features commentaries on “Retail Soars in Times Square” by David Green, Insignia/ESG, “Stratospheric Rents Coming Down to Earth” by Robin Abrams and “The Retail Market is Making a Soft Landing” by Benjamin Fox, Newmark New Spectrum LLC.

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