Ian Ritter is national online editor for GlobeSt.RETAIL.

NEW YORK CITY-The average retail rents on the 34th Street corridor between Fifth and Seventh avenues in Manhattan shot up 83% in the last year to $299 per sf, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s fall report. The increase pushes the corridor’s asking rents higher than SoHo, which averaged $179 per sf this year, but at $167 in 2003 were $3 above 34th Street’s.

Overall the total retail square footage in Manhattan climbed from 14.8 million sf to 14.86 million sf. The number of retail stores in the area jumped to 2,407 from 2,278. Rents in the borough shot up $5 during the year, to $97 per sf. Stores with less than 1,000 sf had the highest asking rent, averaging $159 per sf, jumping 7% from last year.

The report, which surveys the ground-floor rents of select neighborhoods in the borough, also found that property owners ask the most in Manhattan, at an average of $770 per sf, on Madison Avenue between 57th and 67th streets. This area was also the borough’s leader in that category last year.

Behind 34th Street’s boom was West 42nd Street, between Sixth and Eighth avenues, where the average rent rose 54% to $243 per sf. The highest top-end of asking rent in all areas was on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 59th streets, where retailers paid at most $1,000 per sf.

REBNY’s report also highlighted the Meatpacking District, south of 14th Street on the West Side and 125th Street in Harlem as improving areas. The report cites Bloomingdales, the Home Depot and Target as national retailers expanding in Manhattan.

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