With Madison Avenue rents on the decline, vacant shops are attracting a new flock of tenants.
Swiss watchmaker, F.P. Journe is taking over the 800-sq-ft former Graff jewelry store at 721 Madison Ave. between 63rd and 64th streets. While the company has stores in cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong and Geneva, they didn't open their fist US store until December 2009 in Boca Raton, Fla. The Madison Avenue location will be the company's first in New York.
Many real estate experts see F.P. Journe's decision to open the Manhattan flagship as a direct correlation to falling rents. Experts say rents are down about 25% from their highs about 18-months ago when real-estate owners were asking $1000 to $1500 a ft. Asking prices today hover around $700 to $1,200 a foot.
If J.P. Journe is any indication, we will be seeing a lot less banks on Madison and a lot more independent companies.