NEW YORK — Manhattan's fabled Fifth Avenue is still the golden way for merchants, and they pay the highest commercial rents in America to stay there, according to a new real estate survey.
And three other New York shopping districts are among the eight most expensive places in the country for specialty, non-department store businesses. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is No. 4. Fashionable streets in Chicago, Palm Beach, Fla., and Washington were also on the list.
"Every major designer and major foreign manufacturer would love a presence on Fifth Avenue. There are rumors Christian Dior is looking to open a store there," said Michael Hirschfeld, chairman of Hirschfeld Cos., a New York-based real estate firm specializing in the retail market.
Hirschfeld's firm said the merchants who pay the most were on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 58th Streets. Such posh establishments as Tiffany & Co., Gucci Shops Inc. and Cartier Inc. pay anywhere from $300 to $425 per square foot in rent annually.