That's the first thing. To make our dollar cheaper
December 21st, at Moderated by Jerrold France and Chris Thorn. Edited by Randall Shearin. While the retail sector in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut is doing well, some attendees pointed to a bifurcation of the market, with high end retailers and discounters being the most active tenants.
Deborah [Jackson], where do you see the retail sector in New York?
A lot of [tenants] get priced out of other areas and you have the traffic and you have a young crowd. Vintage retailers and other types are in the area. When our economy goes south, people become more creative.
In what specific areas do you see the biggest demand for, in the New York market? Times Square, Fifth Avenue and the 50s.
It has really filled up. The interior of Soho has also been shockingly strong in the last 6 months, like Greene and Mercer Streets.
We are seeing that the area of Soho from the south around Grant Street has really improved.
What are some of the attributes that help make New York so unique for retailers? Many people look at it as a center of creativity in the United States.
That drives a lot of economic factors here internally. Even though the Euro is not nearly as strong as it has been, the exchange rate is stable enough that many international tourists and European tourists look upon New York as an exciting place to visit.
It provides a lot of different venues than some of the European capitals do. Although London has certainly become more exciting in the last 10 years.
As a public company, how does Acadia look at New York and the surrounding areas and boroughs, as far as retail opportunity? Acadia Realty Trust chose to focus on an aggressive program to recycle and invest new capital into the urban markets.
In New York, in our opportunity fund business, we have a rather large urban development platform, the largest project of which is in downtown Brooklyn called City Point, which is currently under construction.
New York treats us very, very well. Andy [Schulman] and Sam [Polese], how do you, as owners, look at retail opportunities today and as you move forward? We love New York and we love the high streets.
The high streets really hold their value. Even when things get a little bit tougher, they come back much faster. The climate for high streets is incredible right now for retail, especially because space is very tight.
This year, I believe there will be more than 50 million tourists coming to the United States. I think the bulk of them are coming to New York.
That is why you see side streets in Soho performing so well and why we see Fifth Avenue now extending down to 42nd Street.
We believe that could even continue to 34th Street in the next 5 years. Fifth Avenue is one of the most sought after. People are always inquiring about prices and sales. People are more interested in hearing about how the sales volumes are equated to the enormous rents they need to pay here.
A lot of retailers just knock it out of the park from day one. Until space runs out, 5th Avenue is going to be on fire.
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