THE BLOG
11/10/2014 05:15 pm ET Updated Jan 10, 2015

In Midtown, Retail to Match Its Residents

If you build it, they will come.

Residents of the burgeoning Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan along 57th Street and the masses of professionals that work in the area will soon have tons of new luxury shopping just steps from their doors.

The storefronts along 57th Street, or "Billionaire's Row," have started to keep up with the luxury residential developments being built higher up off of the ground. According to a detailed list of the many proposed new retail opportunities along the prized street, published by The Real Deal, there is an abundance of luxury retail being built or with the potential to be developed in the area. For example, a new location of Nordstrom is set to open in 2018 at the base of 227 West 57th Street, in addition to thousands of unoccupied retail square footage to be developed during the next few years at 220 and 625 West 57th Street.

Even retail areas of Midtown to the South of 57th Street are being impacted by the new clientele of condominium owners along "Billionaire's Row." Neiman Marcus is set to open in the new Hudson Yards project along the Westside of Manhattan and even old timers, like Macy's at Herald Square, which just underwent a $400 million makeover and added luxury brands to its designer inventory, are looking to compete with the new retail additions in the area.

While the cost to live along 57th Street has reached unprecedented heights, the rent for retail space has increased as well. According to REBNY data, the average storefront rent along 57th Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue has increased by 25 percent over the past six months to $1,250 per square foot. This surge does not come as a surprise -- landlords are reacting to supply and demand. Developers and retail tenants are catering to the lifestyle set by the clientele of the ultra-luxury towers.

However, even without the new retail additions -- which are without a doubt beneficial for the new residents -- the available shopping surrounding 57th Street has always been tailored to high-end customers. Along Fifth Avenue, home to the world's top designers and department stores, such as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks, the retail rents are still significantly higher than those along 57th Street, reaching $3,000 per square foot.

The influx of high-end shopping is following its residential predecessor. Steve Rappaport of Sinvin Real Estate says it best, "If there is a certain clientele living there, retail will eventually service it."