Times Square: Livable Streets Mecca, Retail Sensation

The new Times Square: May 25, 2009. Photo: Aaron Naparstek

Two years after Mayor Bloomberg and NYC DOT remade Times Square, the city’s premiere public space is one of the world’s leading shopping destinations.

Crain’s reports that annual rankings from international real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield place Times Square among the ten most desirable retail locations on the planet, topped in New York only by Fifth Avenue and ahead of East 57th Street and Madison Ave.

This is the first time that the Times Square bowtie, between West 42nd Street and West 47th Street, has made the list. It did so with rents averaging $1,350 a square foot. There is no corresponding annual data from the previous year because Cushman only recently started measuring that specific location. However, as of September 2010, rents there averaged $1,000 a square foot.

“Times Square is the center of the world and it has become another place where retailers want to express their identity,” said [Cushman executive vice president Gene] Spiegelman. He noted that the area is especially popular with moderately priced retailers that would appeal to a mass audience, especially a younger clientele.

This would be big news even during an economic boom. While other factors are no doubt at work, at a time when success stories are few and far between only the most intransigent critic would deny a plausible link between skyrocketing commercial rents and the transformation of Times Square from a car-choked mess into, as Aaron Naparstek wrote in May 2009, “a space filled with people and human activity.”

We look forward to copious city press coverage of this unprecedented development.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

NYC’s Hottest Commercial Districts Are Awash in Livable Streets

|
Which parts of Manhattan have seen the healthiest commercial real estate markets since the economic collapse of 2008? It’s the Meatpacking District and the area around Broadway between Union and Herald Squares, according to a new report by broker Janet Liff [PDF], covered by Crain’s last week. Notably, says Liff, both of those neighborhoods have […]

It’s de Blasio and Bratton vs. the World on Times Square Plazas

|
Let’s start with some basic facts: Most people like Times Square better now that it has more room for people. Gone are the days when the sidewalks were so meager that you had no choice but to walk in traffic. After Broadway went car-free through Times Square in 2009, pedestrian injuries plummeted 40 percent. Retail rents soared. And yet, going against […]