Saturday, August 27, 2011

High-End Retail Locales throughout the Americas Thriving in 2011

Posted by Michael Gerrity 08/24/11 1:48 PM EST

Based on CB Richard Ellis' (CBRE) recently released Summer 2011 Urban Retail Markets Report, the majority of the most sought-after urban retail corridors in the Americas experienced strong market activity during the first half of 2011 as luxury and specialty retailers expanded their brands in many of these High Street markets.

"The pronounced decrease in rents and increase in vacancy rates over the past few years have created opportunities for well positioned retailers," said Nina Kampler, head of CBRE's Urban Retail Group in the Americas. "With tightened availability in the best locations, asking rents either stabilized or rose and tenants have been willing to pay top money for the prime spaces."

According to CBRE's report, New York's Fifth Avenue continues to be the top retail destination in the United States, with high demand from national and international brands actively seeking sites on this luxury corridor. Notable first and second quarter transactions include Zara's purchase of the former NBA store at 666 Fifth Avenue for approximately $400 million.

The Beverly Hills retail market remains tight with little availability along Rodeo Drive. By the end of the 2011 calendar year, this prime stretch of retail real estate is expected to be 98% occupied as asking rents continue to demand $500 per sq. ft. The newest tenants to the market include Lanvin, Agent Provocateur, Vertu and Richard Mille.

San Francisco's Union Square leasing transaction volume picked up in 2011 while rents remained flat. Much of the leasing activity has moved south toward the Westfield San Francisco Centre on Market Street which recently published sales at $679 per sq. ft.

For international and local visitors to Downtown Vancouver's shopping scene, Robson Street remains a staple. Low vacancies and a strong base of international and local retailers have kept demand relatively high for this corridor. Most major brands-- including Zara, Mexx, Guess, Aldo, MAC and Roots--have their flagship stores on this fashion corridor.

Located at Rio de Janeiro's south zone and close to famous beaches such as Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon, Garcia D'avila Street is the most luxurious urban retail destination in Rio de Janeiro. This street houses well-known retailers such as Mont Blanc, Trousseau, H.Stern, Louis Vuitton and Puma. Nike is expected to open its Brand Experience store on the corner of Garcia D'Ávila and Visconde de Pirajá.