Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Silver Lining?

OK. The sky is falling, right? Yeah, it pretty much is.

But that doesn’t mean it needs to fall on you.

This is when savvy retailers who’ve been sitting on their money can go out and snag some prime storefronts that have eluded them over the past several years. Why? Because the players who were snagging those stores out from under you are now reeling. They’re the chains, and they are getting killed in just about every market (with the possible exception of Manhattan, where tourism is keeping retail afloat).;

We’ve all seen this first hand: first, Starbucks announced closures, then the banks started going down (WaMu followed by Wachovia followed by ???). What this means is that the landlords who thought that it would be as easy as putting up a sign and waiting for calls to roll in are now scratching their heads.

I know a space only a block from the Flatiron building where the landlord has dropped the rent twice in the past 3 months – from $25,000/mo., to $19,000 – and now $16,000. And it’s a nice space!

The bottom line is that this awful, gut-wrenching recession could have a silver lining for some of our smart NYC players who’ve been saving their pennies for a rainy day.

-Peter Braus

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