In addition, a new luxury residential high rise is going up opposite Lord & Taylor, which will have some retail space available, and should help fuel retail sales.
Despite the turnover of space, between 34th and 49th, "things are immeasurably better than they were 15 years ago," said Tom Cusick, president of the Fifth Avenue Association. He said back then, the retail scene was a lot shadier, with many more going-out-of-business signs, and many more street vendors and stores selling tourist rip-off items and fake antiques, and overflowing trash receptacles.
"It used to be a total nightmare," however local business improvement districts, combined with legislation and zoning regulations, have elevated the quality of life along Fifth Avenue. "In general, there has been a steady upgrade of stores on Fifth Avenue for the last seven or eight years, and we are beginning to see movement going down south of Saks because there isn’t as much space turnover north of Saks."