Manhattan Retail Condo Sale Could Signal Trend for Wealthy Foreign Chains

A high priced retail condo acquisition in midtown Manhattan by Spanish firm Inditex signals that now is an opportune time for well-capitalized foreign retailers to buy flagship properties in major U.S. cities.

While retail condominiums don’t come on the market often, seven brokers Retail Traffic spoke to say that in the right locations, the condominiums can be a surefire investment due to their popularity with potential tenants and high income streams.

“The number of transactions involving retail condominiums has definitely increased in recent years,” says Gary Schwartzman, managing director of the retail group with Grubb & Ellis, a commercial real estate advisory firm. “In the urban markets, particularly New York, Chicago, and to some extent Boston, Miami and Los Angeles, retail companies started to see this strategy as being as smart one.

But in addition, the number of foreign investors coming into urban areas is generally larger. Investors’ appreciation for retail real estate is growing very quickly.”

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