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NEW YORK CITY-While Lower Manhattan continues to struggle in this post-Sept. 11 environment, the rest of Manhattan appears to have bounced back nicely in terms of retail leasing, according to the latest Fall Retail Report from Real Estate Board of New York. Popular pedestrian areas–such as Times Square, Lincoln Center, and Herald Square–proved most successful in securing new tenants in the past six months.

REBNY, which studied 2,183 stores, shows rents up in the six month period ended Sept. 30, 2002 in every market except Lower Manhattan. The report attributes Downtown’s ailing leasing activity to the continued after-effects of 2001′s terrorist attacks. In addition, retail outlets on side streets and in secondary districts of the city also are experiencing the on-going effects of the recession, REBNY states.

Steven Spinola, president of REBNY, notes that while strong retail rents are elevating building prices in core NYC areas, “vacancies are on the rise in secondary districts.” Spinola says this is “another sign that any significant realty tax hike could also dim hopes for a near-term recovery in most of the city’s shopping districts.”

The study, which examined 14.6 million square feet reported from 17 different brokerage firms, also attests that the highest price range for asking rents is on Fifth Ave. between 48th and 59th Streets–where figures were ranged from $333 to $1,113 per sf.

The lowest asking rents, $35 to $100 per sf, were found on Hudson St. between Chambers and Canal Streets. While still low, this area–set only steps from Ground Zero–has shown significant improvement over last year, REBNY says.

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