With all the uproar over the continuously developing retail markets surrounding it, the quiet transformation of Broadway in NoHo has gone all but unnoticed. In SoHo, rents can now top $1,000 per square foot for the most valuable space, while in Union Square, H&M has signed a lease for nearly 40,000 square feet. Even other parts of NoHo have drawn their share of attention with the arrival of high fashion tenants like John Varvatos and Intermix on the Bowery. In spite of the fervor over all of the areas encircling it, the buzz has largely missed the changes on Broadway.
Ten years ago, before the Adidas building rose on the corner of Broadway and Houston Street, the stretch between Houston and 14th Street was largely home to discount apparel and shoe stores as well as long-standing antiques stores. Since then, and at an accelerating pace in the last few years, Broadway has had an influx of fashion and other credit retailers offering landlords reduced tenancy risk and increased rents.
Beginning around 2004 and continuing throughout the last decade the march of new, high quality tenants has been impressive. Best Buy, Urban Outfitters, and American Apparel began this trend in 2004, with the Adidas building being completed in 2005, and Crate & Barrel following in 2006. After these early entrants came Brooklyn Industries (2008), Pet Smart (2009), Superdry (2009), NYU’s new Bookstore (2010), Chipotle (2011), The Bean (2011), Citibank (2011) and in the last year alone, Pret-a-Manger, Zumiez, and Douglas Elliman. In addition, Duane Reade and Swatch stayed in place but renovated their stores. Finally, the fantastic cap on this stretch of stores is the aforementioned H&M on Union Square which is, after all, on the corner of Broadway.
In addition to all of this activity, there are currently several prominent spaces on the market, including Shakespeare & Co.’s 5,000 square foot space at 716 Broadway, Blatt Billiard’s 6,000 square foot space at 806 Broadway, about 5,000 square feet of space at 815 Broadway, and the old Joyce Leslie space which contains nearly 20,000 square feet, among others. Additionally, the ground floor of 704 Broadway was recently leased, and an exciting new building is being planned for 688 Broadway by Madison Realty Capital, which will house a significant retail space, helping to further develop the retail landscape on this swath of Broadway.
As the area continues to develop it would be easy to imagine a high-end Broadway corridor running uninterrupted from Canal Street to Herald Square. While Broadway in NoHo has flown under the radar, it is doubtless that its redevelopment will continue with high quality tenants leaving neighboring areas for the relative affordability, and incredible demographics and infrastructure of this exciting street.