Today in not-particularly-shocking news, a recent report ranks Williamsburg's Bedford Avenue among the America's most expensive retail corridors in terms of rent, with an average price per square foot of $350. It comes in fifth under stretches of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, and of the ten priciest areas to open up shop, Brooklyn dominates, with the Fulton Street Mall and Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn coming in eighth and tenth, respectively.

Notably, this ranking from CPEX Real Estate, itself based in Downtown Brooklyn, excludes rents in Manhattan, deeming the borough an "outlier" in the national retail market. As of November 2015, retail rents in Manhattan were as high as $3,397 per square foot on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 59th streets. An outlier indeed, even in comparison to Rodeo Drive's $800 per square foot average rent that tops CPEX's list.

Bedford Avenue's commercialization is nothing earth-shatteringly new, but there does appear to have been quite a jump in just the last year. According to the same firm's 2015 report, the stretch of Bedford Avenue between North 8th and North 3rd had an average rent per square foot between $200 and $250. Now, that same stretch is up to $350 per square foot, as much as a 75 percent increase.

The effects of this continued skyrocketing of rents are certainly being felt throughout the neighborhood, not just on Bedford Avenue. Just this past December, nine-year-old Wythe Avenue restaurant Nita Nita had to close: the lease was up, and its owners could not handle what they said was a threefold increase in rent. And last November, anti-gentrification activists protested outside of the sixth annual Brooklyn Real Estate Summit, condemning the displacement happening across the borough as the result of rising rents—both commercial and residential.

When business owners like Sam and Virginia of Nita Nita are forced out by prohibitive rents, new businesses do not always swoop in to rent out the vacant storefronts. Indeed, those spaces often sit unoccupied for years. As broker Christopher Havens told us last year, this often happens because owners, seeing the rising value of their gentrifying neighborhoods, start asking for obscenely high prices that are slow to attract tenants at first—by their logic, it's more profitable to wait for someone who's willing to pay an exorbitantly high rent.

Meanwhile, the highest paying tenants (think banks and high-end brands) are notorious for moving exceptionally slowly on closing deals. And sometimes, there's just no logic behind vacancies in these increasingly expensive areas: a years-long gap between businesses may just be the result of a landlord's lack of motivation, or unwillingness to make repairs on older properties.

Slightly less depressing is this report's news that retail rents on popular corridors in Greepoint, Bed-Stuy, and Park Slope, among others, are more or less stable. But watch out for 4th Avenue, Grand Street, and Vanderbilt Avenue: they're on CPEX's list of up-and-comers, and though their rents are relatively low right now at approximately $65 per square foot, we've seen how quickly things can change.