- 75% of the retailers in New York City’s Hudson Yards did not pay their April rent because of the coronavirus crisis, The Financial Times reported.
- Hudson Yards is the city’s most expensive neighborhood, with a median sale price of nearly $5 million.
- It’s home to office towers, luxury condos, and a seven-story shopping center with more than 100 shops, including Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Cartier, and the city’s first Neiman Marcus department store.
- The neighborhood’s developer is reportedly investigating its tenants who didn’t pay rent, estimating that half of Hudson Yards’ retailers have adequate financial resources to pay.
- The pandemic has forced retailers across the country to close, which could result in a surge of bankruptcies and permanent store closings.
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75% of the retailers in New York City’s Hudson Yards neighborhood refused to pay their April rent because of the coronavirus crisis, The Financial Times reported.
The neighborhood’s developer, Related Companies, is investigating its tenants who didn’t pay rent, estimating that half of its Hudson Yards retailers have adequate financial resources to pay, according to the Times.
Hudson Yards, the $25 billion megadevelopment in western Manhattan that opened in March 2019, has become the city’s most expensive neighborhood, with a median sale price of nearly $5 million. It’s home to luxury condos, office towers, a performing arts center, and a 150-foot climbable sculpture. At its core is the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, a seven-story luxury shopping center that houses more than 100 retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Uniqlo, and Zara, as well as 25 cafés and restaurants.
The shopping center has been closed to the public since March 17.
Businesses in New York City and across the country have been forced to shut down because of the pandemic, which could result in a surge of bankruptcies and permanent store closings, as Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson recently reported.
The Times report did not specify which Hudson Yards retailers haven’t paid rent, and Related did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. Most of the retailers Business Insider reached out to, including Neiman Marcus, Dior, Chanel, Stuart Weitzman, Kate Spade, Madewell, Uniqlo and Zara, did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
Others, including Rolex and Louis Vuitton, declined to comment.
A spokesperson for athletic apparel retailer Lululemon pointed to a CNBC interview from last week in which CEO Calvin McDonald said the company had paid April rent to all its landlords.
Related CEO Jeff Blau told the Times that many of the retailers who didn’t pay were large companies with adequate financial resources. He said Related has its own taxes, wage bills, and debt interest to pay, adding that “no landlord can survive with zero rent forever.”
Blau said he estimated that about half of Hudson Yards’ retailers were able to pay rent, but that Related was willing to work out payment plans with those who weren’t.
“The people who can afford to pay, they need to pay the rent,” Blau told the Times. “Every part of the chain is going to have to bear some of the loss. If they don’t pay, the system breaks down.”
In addition to the retailers, Hudson Yards’ restaurants, climbable sculpture Vessel, and performing arts center, the Shed, have all been closed since March 17.
Edge, the 100th-floor observatory deck that’s now the highest outdoor deck in the Western Hemisphere, closed on March 13 – just two days after it opened to the public. It announced its closure one day after New York City placed a ban on all gatherings of more than 500 people to slow the spread of the coronavirus.