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Ian Ritter is national online editor of GlobeSt.RETAIL.

NEW YORK CITY-Year-over-year average asking retail rents in certain Lower Manhattan neighborhoods, as well as the 125th Street corridor, soared, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s Spring Retail Report. Ground-floor rents on 125th Street jumped 54%, to $90 per sf; on Broadway Avenue between Battery Park and Chambers rose 45% to $126; and on Broadway between Houston and Broome in SoHo shot up 31%, to $212.

“Overall, it’s a continuing confidence in the economy and in the city,” Mike Slattery, REBNY’s senior VP, tells GlobeSt.com of the large upticks. “The demand for space is there.”

Retailers that might have stopped looking for space after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have resumed their searches, he adds. An increase in residential space has fueled some of the growth Downtown, while 125th Street’s popularity continues to grow. “For many years Upper Manhattan was not a destination,” Slattery says. “Its transformation has made this a favorable location.”

For all available space, Lower Manhattan saw the largest regional increase for all of its neighborhoods, up 14%, to $82 per sf. The West Side saw a 13% jump, boosting it to $127 per sf. Meanwhile, average rents grew in the East Side, by 4%, to $160, and in Midtown they inched up 2%, to $160. Overall, Manhattan was up 6%, to $103.

The corridor with the highest average asking rent is Fifth Avenue, between 49th and 59th streets, at $742, up from $717. That area replaced last spring’s leader, 57th Street between Fifth and Park avenues, which fell from $850 to $534.

Total square footage in the borough covered in REBNY’s report rose to 13.1 million sf, from 11.8 million sf the same period last year. During that time the number of stores jumped from 2,044 to 2,248.

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