Number of the Day

The Falling Price of Manhattan Retail Space, by the Numbers

The most sought-after real estate for luxury brands has seen prices plummet during the pandemic

Marker Editors
Published in
2 min readOct 28, 2020


80% — How much retail real estate prices on Madison Avenue have dropped from their peak in 2014
Illustration: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis/Getty Images

Eighty percent: That’s the plunge below the peak price of retail real estate on the most desirable stretch of Madison Avenue in Manhattan, according to the Wall Street Journal. Specifically, the Journal points to the recent sale of three buildings for what works out to $1,340 per square foot — compared to $7,589 paid for a building six blocks away back in 2014. Data from brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield displayed a similar trend: average Madison Avenue ground-floor rental prices in the second quarter of 2020 plummeted to their lowest rate since 2011.

Since the pandemic arrived in the U.S. in March, retail has been hobbled first by lockdowns, then by cautious consumers who have gotten used to doing more and more shopping online. For an international shopping destination like Madison Avenue, home to flagship stores for fashion brands like Hermès, Chanel, and Giorgio Armani, travel restrictions have hurt, too, drastically reducing vital tourist traffic. And New York’s overall real estate market has suffered as at least some city dwellers have decided to head for greener pastures, pushing apartment rental…