Space Squeeze Drives NYC Retailers Underground

By Kaitlin Ugolik (May 12, 2014, 8:41 PM EDT) -- With inventory low and rents skyrocketing across New York City, retail store owners and developers alike are increasingly being drawn underground, where cheaper rents and unique store layouts await for those who can successfully negotiate the tax and zoning hurdles.

Retail rents on the most coveted Manhattan shopping corridor — Fifth Avenue — have jumped 16 percent over the last year, setting a record average price per square foot of $3,550, according to a new report from the Real Estate Board of New York. This spike is just the latest in an ongoing trend of escalating property values across the city,...

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