REAL ESTATE

Report sees pick-up in Manhattan’s retail real estate market

BY CSA STAFF

New York City The outlook for the retail real estate market in New York is promising, according to the just-released “Spring 2010 Retail Report” from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). The local retail market has continued to show steady improvement with average asking rents for ground floor retail space in Manhattan’s retail corridors increasing between 2 and 71% since fall 2009.

According to the spring 2010 report, retail rents were up in a number of Manhattan geographic areas surveyed, with increases of 3% in Midtown South Midtown South and 16% in Upper Manhattan compared to spring 2009.

In Midtown on Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets, average asking rents increased 71% to $1,400 per square foot (psf) and in the West Village on Bleecker Street between 7th Avenue South and Hudson Street, rents increased 30% to $456 psf.

In SoHo on Broadway between Houston and Broome streets, rents increased 16% to $563 psf. In Herald Square on West 34th Street between 5th and 7th Avenues, asking rents increased 19% to $500 psf.

“Asking rents are on the rise throughout Manhattan and the overall picture, nationally and locally is encouraging,” said REBNY president Steven Spinola. “Maintaining this pace will depend on sustaining this momentum and the prudent actions of government at all levels not to dampen this economic resurgence”

REBNY’s Retail Advisory Group, made up of the city’s leading retail brokers, is reporting a pick-up in leasing velocity over the past six months. Inventory within prime corridors is diminishing due to this increasing demand. East 57th Street, Times Square, and the once quiet Madison Avenue have been identified as areas with an inventory squeeze. The return of large transactions, with major retailers leasing high-rent locations for a lengthy term, such as Uniqlo on Fifth Avenue and Aeropostale and Disney in Times Square is another sign of growing market confidence.  

In other report highlights: 

  • Downtown average asking rents increased 7% compared with last year to $101 psf, while West Side asking rents increased 10% to $128 psf.
  • Upper Manhattan, however, had the sharpest rise in asking rents compared to last year increasing 16% to $60 psf.
  • Declines in average asking rents were reported on the East Side (2%), and Midtown (11%).
  • Midtown asking rents on 5th Avenue 49th and 59th Streets were up 41% on the year to $2,300 psf from a high last year of $1,631 psf.   
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Toys’R’Us raises $1.8M for Autism Speaks

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. Toys“R”Us, U.S. announced that its fourth annual nationwide in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, raised nearly $1.8 million.

“For the fourth consecutive year, our customers and employees demonstrated their desire to help solve the autism puzzle by generously supporting our campaign to benefit Autism Speaks,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys“R”Us. “At Toys“R”Us, we are committed to improving the lives of children and families in need, and we’re proud that our efforts will help Autism Speaks fund much-needed research, as well as advocacy efforts.”

During the campaign, the company said it created several programs to help parents and caregivers of children with autism. In collaboration with Autism Speaks and the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children with disabilities, the company identified toys that can help children with autism develop crucial skills while playing alongside siblings and friends.  The “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism,” a special subset of the annual Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, provides toy suggestions specifically for families and friends of children with autism.  With guidance from leading safety organizations and Autism Speaks, Toys“R”Us also developed Safe Play Tips that are relevant for children with autism. The “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism” and Safe Play Tips are available year-round at Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks. 

Since the partnership launched in 2007, Toys“R”Us, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and customer contributions have combined to provide Autism Speaks with more than $8.4 million. 

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BJ’s quarterly income up, raises FY guidance

BY CSA STAFF

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club reported net income for the first quarter of 2010 of $26.1 million, or 49 cents per diluted share. For the first quarter of 2009, the company reported net income of $24.3 million, or 45 cents per diluted share.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2010 increased by 12.9% to $2.55 billion and comparable-club sales increased by 7.8%, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 3.6%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by 4.2%. Net sales for the first quarter of 2009 increased by 0.2% to $2.26 billion and comparabl- club sales decreased by 1.5%, including the negative impact from sales of gasoline of 9%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by 7.5%.

The company also announced revised earnings guidance. For the year ending Jan. 29, 2011, the company now expects to report earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.58 to $2.68 and net income in the range of $136.9 million to $141.9 million. Previous guidance was for earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.54 to $2.64 and net income in the range of $133.1 million to $138.1 million.

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