Retailers who think their rent rate is too high may feel better when they hear the rates in top retail meccas throughout the US. Manhattan, particularly along Fifth Avenue, tops the charts at an average rate of $1,350 a square foot, up $250 compared with a year ago, according to a survey by Colliers International.
By comparison, the Union Square area of San Francisco, which stands at second place, seems like a bargain. It commands an average of $485 per square foot, up just $10 for the year.
Los Angeles' Rodeo Drive overtook Kalakaua Avenue in Hawaii for third place, with an average rate of $480 per square foot, up $120 this year. Chicago's Miracle Mile locations average $250 a square foot, up just $5 versus a year ago.
Average retail rents along Miami's Lincoln Road reached $120 a square foot, up $10, while Philadelphia's Walnut Street commanded $120 per square foot, up $20 in a year.
Ross Moore, Colliers' senior vice president, attributes the annual increases to luxury retailers, which have been relatively unaffected by any economic slowdown, and are moving from malls to key streets in cities. He says it's no coincidence that the highest rents are in top tourist destinations, given the US dollar's weakness in comparison with foreign currencies. A dropping dollar has led to an increase in customers from abroad.
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