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Flatbush Avenue asking retail rents rise, but that may not be the full story

According to a Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) report surveying the summer of 2018, average asking rents for available ground floor retail spaces increased year-over-year in seven of the 16 top Brooklyn retail corridors. REBNY states:
Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, between 5th Avenue and Grand Army Plaza, recorded another average asking rent increase this period compared to last year. The $118 psf average was a nine percent increase when compared to the summer of 2017. This marked the third consecutive year-over-year increase on the corridor. Growing foot traffic in the area—generated by new, high-density residential projects, popular restaurants, and a strong office leasing market—contributed to this upward trend.


Some caveats

As noted in the full report, an increase in asking rent is not necessarily dispositive:
Although this report shows changes—positively and negatively—in average asking rents in most of the corridors analyzed, we must stress that a change between two consecutive periods does not necessarily indicate a change in the market. Such short-term fluctuations may only be the result of spaces coming on or off the market. The median rent information, the range of rent information, and this analysis of the data should help readers receive a comprehensive and accurate picture of the market in these selected corridors.
Nor does asking rent equal final rent:
We must reiterate that the rents quoted in this report are asking rents. Physical components of a retail space factor greatly into its rental value. Attributes such as the lineal amount of street/avenue frontage, ceiling height, presence of below grade and mezzanine and second floor space, and locational factors such as proximity to a subway entrance, can affect value. Consequently, in corridors with little availability, a high quality space coming to market can increase the average and median asking rents greatly.
In other words, some units may be asking a lot.  The lower bound of asking rents on Flatbush has actually decreased, from $78 per square foot to $66 psf, but the upper bound has leaped, from $125 psf to $222 psf.

Note that there's still empty space at 461 Dean Street (aka B2), part of the Pacific Park project, and that likely is on the higher side.

Note that the geographic boundaries of the survey omit the partly moribund retail space--now including pop-ups-- on the Flatbush Avenue side of the Barclays Center.

Coverage in the Real Deal and the New York Post, for example, quoted the average figures in REBNY's press release, but didn't look at the ranges.

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