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It could be worse… July 16, 2010

Posted by Erik Swanson in Articles, Research/Data, Retail News.
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Andy Robinson in our appraisal group has recently completed the Kidder Mathews Mid-Year Retail Report for the Puget Sound.  Amongst his findings:  in Seattle MSA at its peak there were 230 vacant anchor stores with over 8 million s.f. of space.  In the Puget Sound region, there are now 169  stores available from 10,000 s.f. to 126,000 s.f. in size, with a total of 6.1 million s.f.  

It sounds ominous but when you look at other markets around the country we don’t look too bad. Compare Seattle with Phoenix where empty retail space remains a huge concern for retail property owners. At the end of June, there were 305 spaces greater than 10,000 square feet on the market, totaling 8.3 million feet. Read more in the Phoenix Business Journal here.

 The Valley of the Sun is the 12th largest metro area by population in the United States with over 4.3 million people, where as the Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, with an estimated population of 3,344,813 is the 15th largest United States Metropolitan Statistical Area. To be sure, Phoenix is a larger overall market, but from a percentage standpoint Phoenix is much worse off with an overall vacancy rate of over 12%  compared to our regions estimated 8% overall rate.

I realize this data probably doesn’t give much in the way of comfort if you’re an owner who has retail space sitting empty or has had to offer concessions of one sort or another, but the Puget Sound market fundamentals are holding their own and overall vacancy is anticipated to stabilize or decrease in the second half of 2010. 

Click here to obtain the GVA Kidder Mathews Mid-Year Retail Report.

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