Beverly Hills' posh Rodeo Drive is the most expensive place in the country for a retailer to rent space outside of Fifth and Madison avenues in Manhattan, according to a new study by Garrick-Aug Associates Store Leasing Inc.
Rodeo's rarefied annual rents of $150 to $200 a square foot are comparable to the $150-to-$250 range for Madison Avenue between 57th and 72nd streets. But both are outdone by the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 49th and 56th streets, where rents go for $150 a square foot to $383, the study found.
Rodeo Drive was followed by Michigan Avenue in Chicago, where rents range from $100 to $140 a square foot.
High rental prices are directly related to revenues in the ritzy shopping districts, said Michael Hirschfield, chairman and chief executive of the survey firm.
A merchant paying $200 a square foot for an average-size store of about 2,000 square feet would be taking on an annual rent of $400,000. "Obviously, his sales volume must be able to justify that kind of overhead," Hirschfield said.