Sizzling square: Few retail vacancies

The weather of late may have been arctic, but Union Square’s climate — at least for retail — is feeling hot, hot, hot! The district ended 2013 with one of the lowest ground-floor retail vacancy rates in the city — 1.2 percent — “bolstering the neighborhood as one of New York’s hottest locations for both retailers and shoppers,” the Union Square Partnership trumpeted.

Nevertheless, some key “flagship” retail spaces in the heart of the area are still available. The largest is on the busiest corner in the neighborhood — 14th St. and Broadway — where the Feil Organization is putting the finishing touches on a renovation of 853 Broadway, transforming the space into five floors and 31,000 square feet of retail space.

Dozens of new retailers, eateries and other businesses signed leases in the district in 2013. In the spring, Reebok will open a FitHub on the corner of 14th St. and Union Square West. It will be the largest of the brand’s stores in New York City and will include a 4,800-square-foot apparel shop, plus a 6,800-square-foot CrossFit gym.