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Faith Hope Consolo addresses NYARM.

I found since the beginning of the year the momentum continues on behalf of the retailers, demanding retail space. They're not closing their eyes and saying "where do I sign," they are negotiating better deals and talking a longer time to close. They are still stepping up to the numbers, and pushing the landlords, owners and managers a little more.

The rents are holding which are astronomical numbers if we look back over the last ten years. (I remember telling you some of those numbers when I was here last time.) Well now all those secondary neighborhoods have become all the dream now. You know, Harlem, Queens West, and Battery Park, you can go on and on. Every week there is another project.

That's more good news.

What we are dealing with now is we -- Garrick-Aug -- are getting a lot more assignments by the coops and condos to reposition the tenants that have been in these buildings the last 10 to 20 years. You know the "mom-and-pops," the butchers, bakers, etc. Not only to change the vision of that retailer as we see it on main street, but to get better tenants that are going to remain if have a recession. I think it is a better time for all of us.

I think the fretting has stopped and the strong tenants will survive. I think they will come to the neighborhoods more than ever, because the neighborhoods versus the Madison Avenues and Sohos are really the backbone. I'm talking about the five boroughs now, not just Manhattan. I'm talking about 86th Street in Brooklyn, about Queens Boulevard, Fulton Street, the Heights, Fordham Road, etc.

We are getting more assignments in those neighbor hoods. We are of course fortune enough to have assignments on Broadway in the heart of the Upper West Side, on Third Avenue, First Avenue and Second Avenue. I think it is going to be a good time for us, especially, in the neighborhoods. We are going to see a lot more regional retailers versus national. Maybe there won't be so many Gaps. When Starbucks went to 104th Street and Broadway, I said that's it, that was the dividing line. 125th Street is a benchmark. I think in these times we are going to see a lot of good regional, local retailers.

What does that mean? The guy with eight stores, 10 stores, i.e., the retailer that gives you "quality of life" in the neighborhood may not have the "sexy use," but really services the community, I think we are going to see a lot more of those retailers. What does that mean? We are going to go to a lower type of retailer? No. We are just going to have a chance for our local tri-state area tenants to grow and come into the neighborhoods. Some of the tenants from New Jersey will go to Brooklyn, from Brooklyn they'll go to Queens, etc.

I think that's really a good thing to get into. We also get a change in this type of environment to assist the landlords, co-op owners, condo owners and kind of redesign the retail space. Now that means that you have to convince your boards to dig into their pockets and spend a little money.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 2, 2001
Previous Article:Fairfield market takes two steps forward and one back.
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