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Retail business booming on Columbus Circle: BID.

Along the Upper West Side's most recognized retail corridor, Columbus Avenue from West 67th to West 82nd Street, 14 new stores have already opened within the past year, and one more has signed a lease for a May 2005 opening, replacing several longtime occupants, announces Barbara Adler, executive director of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID).

"Escalating property values have had a tremendous effect on the retail in the area, as have lease expirations," says Ms. Adler.

"Although we will miss many of our 'old friends,' there's a new group of retailers who are bringing a unique sophistication and style to the Avenue.

"I think we have a perfect mix of traditional, family-oriented shops alongside European and luxury brands."

In the past year, Boyd's of Madison Avenue opened at 309 Columbus Avenue, previously Variazioni; Design Within Reach moved into a former Baby Gap site at 341 Columbus Avenue; and super chic sushi restaurant Gari--the western outpost of Sushi of Gari--took over the Potion nightclub site at 370 Columbus Avenue. Clarins, the French-based luxury cosmetic and skincare company, will open in May at 247 Columbus Avenue, once the home of women's clothing store Monmartre.

"Much of the movement is a by-product of 10- and 15-year lease leases coming to term," says Rafe Evans, vice president of real estate brokerage Walker Malloy & Co. and a BID board member. "But the fact that so many retailers have scooped up the space as it vacates is quite a statement. It's a wonderful reflection of how much the neighborhood and demographics have changed over the past few years."

Halstead expanded its offices by moving into the former Laura Ashley space at the corner of Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street and Sotheby's International Realty has taken two contiguous spaces between West 81st and West 82nd streets.

Two other replacement stores along the Avenue are Royal Opticians at 453 Columbus Avenue and Shen, a women's clothier at 311 Columbus Avenue. New restaurants in the BID include: Santa Fe, 73 West 71st Street; Tenzan, 285 Columbus Avenue; Columbus Grill, 57 West 72nd Street; Raku, 57 West 76th Street; and Burton Pub, a lounge at 380 Columbus Avenue.

In addition, long-time neighborhood eatery Lenny's Cafe has relocated to a new site within the BID at 302 Columbus Avenue.

The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District represents merchants and property owners along Columbus Avenue, from West 67th Street to 82nd Street.
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Title Annotation:Business Improvement District
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 9, 2005
Words:402
Previous Article:Food chain keeps eating up space.
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