Friday, November 20, 2015


Main Streets Across the World 2014-2015 tracked over 500 of the top retail streets, and two in our area came up HIGH on the list.

Lincoln Road in Miami Beach ranked as the 10th most expensive retail street in the United States and Worth Avenue in Palm Beach ranked 14th, tied with Boston and Georgetown.  You, no doubt, won’t be surprised to learn that Manhattan’s Upper Fifth Avenue was at the very top of the list, 46% more expensive than #2, Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. 

For our World Traveler readership, other streets on the list were England’s Bond Street, Paris’ Champs-Élysées, Milan’s Via Montenapoleone and Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall.  Rents rose impressively on the number one street, Manhattan’s Upper East Side, to $3500 per sq ft.  Between Madison Avenue’s East 72nd and 75th street, this usually thriving stretch is reported to be a “micro-pocket of retail that is really starting to flourish, thanks to the new Apple Store, the forthcoming Metropolitan Museum of Art building and new residential product.” Retail asking rents north of 72nd are increasingly exceeding $1,000 per square foot.

Lincoln Road rents, at $325 per sq ft, which sounds reasonable in comparison, have held steady for the past year.  National and international investors have sent Lincoln Road’s rents and property values way high.  Tenants include H&M, Anthropologie, Intermix, Forever 21, Apple, Gap, Urban Outfitters and lululemon and the same shops, as well as those on Worth Avenue listed below, can be found in local malls in other Florida cities.

Rents on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue jumped up 20% to $150 per sq ft, resulting in one of the largest global growth rates.  Worth Avenue has attracted global luxury retailers, such as Cartier, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Graff, Gucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton.  Luxury real estate firm, Cushman & Wakefield, reports that part-time residents and international visitors have led to the growth.

An overhaul is planned for Lincoln Road with sidewalk enlargements, extensive landscaping and new pedestrian walkways on some side streets and in back alleys where new retail and restaurant venues will be found.  A Business Improvement District will be created by assessing area business and property owners to create a 10-year long maintenance and management program.

With rising consumer sentiment and increased tourism (100 MILLION tourists visited Florida in 2014 and more are expected this year) it might not be a bad idea to get on line on Worth Avenue and Lincoln Road and elsewhere on the Friday after Thanksgiving and going forward a few weeks after.  Online purchases are expected to be about 10% of retail sales, the other 10% visiting brick-and-mortar stores.

Sounds like our economy has severely improved, don’t-cha think?

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