New York City has historically been known to fetch among the highest prices for commercial real estate across the globe. That’s not to say it’s overpriced. There is undeniably incalculable value added by being in a prime location. The Big Apple is certainly a prime setting, a place to see and be seen, to wheel and deal, more so than any other City in America. This is true for businesses and offices as well as homes and residential buildings.
By Ilana Siyance
Today, businesses continue to pay a premium for an address in the Big City. Commercial space in prestigious areas like FiDi, Hudson Yards, or the Plaza District regularly ask potential tenants more than $100 per square foot. The only question remains, which NYC streets and neighborhoods are fetching the highest prices for commercial space in 2019. A recent blog in Metro Manhattan by Alan Rosinsky sought to answer this question. Based on commercial real estate sales data from NYC Department of Finance , in the five boroughs of NYC from January 2019 till October, a list was compiled revealing the 30 most expensive streets, as well as the 30 most expensive neighborhoods in NYC. The list found the locations with the highest Median Sale Price for NYC streets and neighborhoods that had at least 10 commercial sales transactions so far this year.
First let us peek at the Priciest Commercial Streets in NYC. The number one most expensive street in NYC is none other than Manhattan’s Third Avenue. The Median Sales Price was $12,092,588, as calculated from the 10 sales on the street between January and October 2019. The total sales volume for the period was $715,746,114. The largest transaction was Chetrit Group’s $422 million purchase of the Midtown Manhattan building at 850 Third Avenue in January. The 21-story, 617,000 Square foot building on 51st street and third was previously owned by China’s debt-ridden HNA Group. Another heavy-duty deal was 60 Guilders and RCG Longview’s $212.5 million purchase of the renovated 19-sory student housing building at 1760 Third Avenue, from The Chetrit Group.
The second most expensive street in NYC was Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue. The street boasted a Median Sales Price of $9,335,312 for commercial transactions. There were 10 sales recorded for the year so far, with total sales volume of $379,769,138. The largest transaction in the area was the $180 million purchase of 360 Lexington Avenue by Savanna at the end of the summer. Manhattan’s First Avenue was named the third most expensive street in NYC. There were 11 sales recorded for the period with a Median Sales Price of $8,000,000.
As expected, the City’s most expensive streets are in Manahattan. However, Brooklyn seems to be catching up. Manhattan was home to 9 of the 30 most sought after streets for the year, but Brooklyn topped that with 13 of the most expensive streets based on this year’s sales. NYC’s fourth priciest street is in Brooklyn– namely Flatbush Avenue. The street fetched a median sale price of $5.6 million for commercial properties, recording 13 transactions with total sales volume of $191,040,950. That means than in 2019, commercial buyers paid a higher premium for Flatbush locations than Fifth Avenue or Broadway. Brooklyn’s busy street is developing fast. The priciest exchange was the $100 million sale of 270 Flatbush Avenue, which is yet to be built.
Last in the Top five is Queens’ Northern Boulevard with a Median Sales Price of $4,550,000, for 12 sales. The biggest transaction there was the sale of the $40 million retail building at 51-30 Northern Boulevard. The former Sports Authority Store there will be turned into a high school. Queens grabbed a total of seven spots in the top 30 list for the most expensive commercial streets. The combined commercial sales volume for the borough on this list was $863 million in 2019.
Manhattan’s prized Fifth Avenue took the sixth spot on the list. The Median Sales Price for transactions was $4,222,500, despite the high total volume of $3,010,590,975 on the 18 sales in 2019. Seventh place on the list was Brooklyn’s President Street, with Median Sales Price of $3,050,000 in 16 transactions.
Eighth place was 4th Avenue, also in Brooklyn. Median Sales Price was $2,950,000 over the 16 transactions. Other notable streets to make the top 30 list from Brooklyn include: Brooklyn’s Broadway (#11), Nostrand Avenue (#13), Coney Island Avenue (#16), Atlantic Avenue (#17), Amity Street (#21), Bedford Avenue (# 22), 6Th Avenue (#23), Fulton Street (#26), Kings Highway (#29), and Greene Avenue (#30 on the list).
Number Nine on the list is Queens’s 31st Street, with a Median Sales Price of $2,850,000 for the 10 transactions. Other hot streets on the top 30 list in Queens included: Steinway Street ( spot #18), Queens Boulevard (# 19), Prince Street (#20), Roosevelt Avenue (#24), and Union Street (#25).
Rounding off the top ten of the list of NYC’s most expensive streets was Manhattan’s Charlton Street with a Median Sales Price of $2,788,914 for the 13 transactions. Other hot streets in Manhattan included: Madison Avenue (#12), Leonard Street (#14), West 87Th Street (#15), and of course Broadway (down to spot # 27, with Median Sales price of $1,400,000, despite high sales volume of $476,502,007 in 21 transactions.)
The Borough of Bronx did make an appearance on the list, though Staten Island did not. East Tremont Avenue landed was ranked as #28, with a median sale price of $1.2 million for 10 commercial sales in 2019.
That brings us to the list of the Most Expensive Commercial Neighborhoods in NYC, based on sales data from the DOF dated January to October 2019. In this list, Manhattan regains its rightful place at the top. Manhattan hogged 19 of the top 30 spots in the list, as compiled by Metro Manhattan. In fact all the top 11 most expensive neighborhoods were in Manhattan. The top neighborhood was, of course, Manhattan’s Financial District. It blew away all the competition with Median Sales Price of $43,850,000 in 10 transactions. Second place on the list is Manhattan’s Fashion District, with a Median Sales Price of $12,499,570, over 27 recorded transactions. The other top ten commercial neighborhoods on the list, in order include: Midtown Cbd, Upper East Side (79-96 streets), Greenwich Village-West, Greenwich Village-Central, Little Italy, Upper East Side (59-79 streets), East Village, and Chelsea neighborhoods respectively.
The Bronx’s Mount Hope/Mount Eden neighborhood stole spot #12, with Median Sales Price of $5,812,000 over 11 transactions in the neighborhood. Manhattan neighborhoods continue to dominate the list till the Bronx’s Mott Haven/Port Morris takes spot 18.
Queen’s Bayside neighborhood was named # 19 on the list with a Median Sales Price of $3,750,000 over 12 transactions. Bayside was the only Queens neighborhood on the list, led by the $12.2 million sale of the Bayside Tennis Corporation at 34-28 214th Place.
Six Brooklyn neighborhoods made the top 30 list. Carroll Gardens took the 22nd spot with a Median Sales Price of $3,700,000 in 17 transactions. The neighborhood of Gowanus was ranked # 23, with a Median Sales Price of $3,425,000, over 20 transactions with a total sales volume of $177,085,207 for the neighborhood in 2019. Flatbush-Central made the list as # 25, with 46 transactions in the neighborhood, at a Median Sales Price of $207,529,331. Other Brooklyn neighborhoods to make the most expensive list include: Park Slope (# 27), and Boerum Hill (#30).