The survey monitored rents in 221 locations in 43 countries in the 12-month period ending June 2001. The list was compiled by taking the top rent in each country.

Rank 2001 Rank 2000 Country City Top location in each country/ranked by country U.S. dollars per sq. ft.
1 1 U.S. New York East 57th Street $700.02
2 5 China Hong Kong Causeway Bay $523.04
3 2 France Paris Avenue des Champs-Elysées $494.43
4 3 Australia Sydney Pitt Street Mall $383.78
5 4 U.K. London Oxford Street $379.69
6 11 Russia Moscow Manezhnaya Square $278.71
7 9 Switzerland Zurich Bahnhofstraße $260.50
8 7 Greece Athens Ermou $222.13
9 6 Japan Tokyo The Ginza $216.09
10 10 Germany Munich Kaufingerstrasse $205.04
— Source: Cushman & Wakefield

The buck stops here: NYC ranked most expensive retail location

East 57th Street in New York City boasts the highest retail rent in the world, according to a new survey by Cushman & Wakefield Inc. New York's $700 per sq. ft. was followed by $523 per sq. ft. for Causeway Bay in Hong Kong and $494 per sq. ft. for Avenue des Champs Elysées in Paris. This is the second year New York has led the list.

Main Streets Across the World 2001 monitored rents in 221 locations in 43 countries in the 12-month period ending June 2001, and compiled the rankings by listing the top rental district in each country. Of the countries analyzed, 58% showed rental growth, while 28% experienced a decline in rents and 14% showed no change.

The Asia-Pacific region experienced the strongest rental growth. European retail rents also turned in a solid performance with a rise of 6.9%.

Westfield buys nine regional malls from Richard Jacobs

Westfield America, Los Angeles, plans to purchase nine regional malls from Cleveland-based The Richard E. Jacobs Group for $756 million. The deal, expected to close during first-quarter 2002, will increase Westfield's U.S. portfolio to 48 shopping centers valued at $5.7 billion, adding a new cluster of four centers in Ohio and one each to Westfield America's existing centers in Missouri and Washington.

“There is significant potential to upgrade the portfolio through redevelopment in much the same way as we did with the CenterMark and Trizec-Hahn portfolios,” Peter Lowy, managing director of Westfield America, said in a statement.

The sale also is the latest in a long-planned divestiture of properties by Jacobs, which sold 23 centers to CBL & Associates Properties, Chattanooga, Tenn., earlier this year.

The centers to be acquired are Southlake Mall, Hobart, Ind.; Midway Mall, Elyria, Ohio; SouthPark Center, Cleveland; Belden Village Mall, Canton, Ohio; Richland Mall, Mansfield, Ohio; Eastridge Mall, Gastonia, N.C.; Chesterfield Mall, St. Louis; Gateway Mall, Lincoln, Neb.; and Southcenter Mall, Seattle.

Thor Equities plans urban renaissance with $260 million deal

The new year may bring new life for several urban retail properties around the nation. In transactions worth $260 million, New York-based developer Thor Equities has purchased six downtown sites with plans to renovate and reposition the nearly 2 million sq. ft. of retail/office space.

“Urban ethnic neighborhoods continue to be under-served by national retailers. This is largely due to the fact that many of these districts lack quality venues in which these retailers can establish a presence,” said Joseph Sitt, chairman and CEO of Thor Equities.

Properties purchased by Thor include the Gallery at Fulton Street in Brooklyn, N.Y., from Albee Square LLC; Gentilly Woods Shopping Center in New Orleans, from Gentilly Woods Shopping Center Associates; 26-34 South State Street in Chicago, from South State Street Ventures LLC; 560 Broadway in Bayonne, N.J., from 560 Broadway, Bayonne LLC; 20 Marietta Street in Atlanta, from Urban Brands Inc.; and 208-220 W. 125th Street in New York, the seller of which was not disclosed.

Among the renovations planned are a reconfiguration of the 475,000 sq. ft. Gallery at Fulton Street to include space for a second anchor retailer, in addition to the Toys ‘R’ Us currently located at the site.

The 175,000 sq. ft. Gentilly Woods Shopping Center will receive a new $1 million façade and also will be remodeled to include another anchor tenant.

Continuum Partners embarks on $550 million revamp of Villa Italia

Denver-based Continuum Partners is redeveloping the 100-acre site currently occupied by the 1.5 million sq. ft. Villa Italia mall in Lakewood, Colo. The site will be home to the $550 million Belmar — a mixed-use “downtown” including 3.3 million sq. ft. of retail, office and residential components and 2.5 million sq. ft. of parking structures.

Phase I of the redevelopment will include a 1 million sq. ft. Main Street, 70% of which will be retail. Continuum Partners is pursuing deals with two department stores, a multi-screen theater, a grocery store and several specialty shops to anchor the project.

Elkus/Manfredi Architects Ltd., based in Boston, is providing master planning and design services for Belmar, which is scheduled to break ground in first-quarter 2002 and be completed in five to 10 years.

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