New York's Third Avenue on UES changes from retail center to expanse of doctors and dentists

The Doctor is on 3rd Avenue, from North Bloomingdale’s to East 79th Street. The same goes for the dentist, the veterinarian and your n...


The Doctor is on 3rd Avenue, from North Bloomingdale’s to East 79th Street. The same goes for the dentist, the veterinarian and your neighborhood cryotherapist. The hallway that was once known for sportswear now looks more like a mile-long health and fitness fair than a traditional shopping stretch.

The middle-class spine of the Upper East Side’s twenty blocks (by Manhattan standards) now has three urgent care medical facilities, two dental clinics, and two pet veterinary facilities. Names include CityMD, MedRite and MyDoctor; Tend (“Look Forward to the Dentist”) and the Dntl Bar which is not yet open; and Small Door Veterinary and Bond Vet, which require no explanation.

There are also more than a dozen spas and “wellness centers”. They offer cryogenic treatments, hyperbaric chambers and esoteric skin regimens. Even among the few true clothing retailers, the biggest are fitness-focused, like Lululemon and Alo Yoga Sanctuary.

Unlike in the past, they are not tucked away on upper floors or basements, but on the ground floor. Small Door Veterinary proudly announces itself with large signs in part of what was the long vacant Grace Market space.

Exterior of an MD city
CityMD was a pre-pandemic pioneer, but was joined by other medical and wellness tenants as the pandemic crisis took hold in 2020.
Alec Tabak for NYPost

The influx of sidewalk-level medicine and health care helped pull the Third Avenue retail market out of the doldrums. According to Cushman & Wakefield, asking rents between 59th and 79th streets increased from $206 to $221 from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021.

More significantly, vacancies which hit a recessionary rate of 25.9% in the fourth quarter of 2020 have fallen to a more manageable 17.2% in the same period of 2021. New leases in progress are likely to lower the vacancy rate even further.

CityMD was a pre-pandemic pioneer, but was joined by other medical and wellness tenants when the crisis seized in 2020. The transition dramatically illustrates the changing Manhattan retail scene as landlords struggle to fill vacant storefronts.

Exterior of Small Door Veterinary at 1231 Third Ave in Manhattan
Recent closings of large clothing stores like The Gap have left owners on Third Avenue with plenty of highly visible empty square footage, making way for businesses like this small vet door.
Alec Tabak for NYPost

Recent closures of major clothing stores like The Gap and American Apparel have left Third Avenue owners with lots of very visible empty square feet. Independent broker Stacey Kelz said that for medical and wellness tenants, “the larger spaces on Third Avenue, in brick apartment buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s, are physically more efficient than on the First and Second where there are many buildings. ”

There is also a demand side. Steven Soutendijk of Cushman & Wakefield, who replaced the landlord in Tend’s lease, said: ‘The Upper East Side in the 70s is the densest neighborhood and full of people who are comfortable spending 100 $ to get your teeth cleaned.

“They have a lot of disposable income to spend on their health, beauty and fitness coming out of the pandemic. They have lots of dogs and cats. They need services you can’t get on Amazon or the web.

Exterior of Restore Wellness with a customer entering the front door
Landlords have warmed to the idea of ​​street-level medical tenants, like this Restore Wellness at 1320 Third Ave.
Alec Tabak for NYPost

Newmark’s Ross Berkowitz added that the new category of tenants reflects a younger vibe and concern for well-being in difficult times. “People want the best for themselves and for their animals,” he said.

Initially, not all landlords liked the idea of ​​medical tenants at street level. CBRE broker Rob Bonicoro, who represented walk-in clinic One Medical in a new lease at 919 Third, which is south of Bloomingdale’s, said: “Maybe the landlords preferred traditional tenants, but they have had to change their minds” as sportswear buyers bought more and more. online and the pandemic has kept people indoors. “The perception has also changed,” Bonicoro said. “These are beautifully landscaped spaces. They don’t look like old-fashioned doctor’s offices anymore.

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Newsrust - US Top News: New York's Third Avenue on UES changes from retail center to expanse of doctors and dentists
New York's Third Avenue on UES changes from retail center to expanse of doctors and dentists
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