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The Guide to Leasing a Retail Space in New York City

By Max Swerdloff

Leasing a retail space can be a very simple process with the right broker and strategy.  Obviously every deal is different and some can be more difficult than others, but there is always a finish line.  Once the space is identified the negotiating process begins. 

Rents in New York City can range from $30 per square foot for a lower level space in Chinatown to $5,500 per square foot for a ground space on Fifth Avenue.  The typical term for a lease is 5-15 years, but can be longer for a credit tenant.  The standard business terms for the lease are 3% escalations each year for the rent, 3-6 months security, rent concession and a percentage of the increases of the taxes.

Once you have reached business terms you should have an attorney review the lease.  The attorney negotiates all the points to protect you and your business.  Normally the attorneys have 2 rounds of comments and then exciting part starts, setting a signing date!

After all the outstanding points of the lease are hammered it is time to sign the lease.  At signing you bring 2 certified checks, one for the security deposit and one for the first month’s rent.  You also bring your certificate of insurance and a copy of your driver’s license.  Once both parties sign the lease your rent concession begins and it is time to operate your successful business in your New York City Retail Space