View Full Version : Retail vacancy rate falls to below 9%

09-30-2005, 09:12 AM
Retail vacancy rate falls to 8.69 percent
by David Page
The Journal Record

Vacancy rates have dropped at Oklahoma City area shopping centers as national retailers seek more space.
The overall vacancy rate for area shopping centers dropped to 8.69 percent at mid-2005 from 9.43 percent at the end of 2004, according to a new report from Price Edwards & Co.

The North Oklahoma City and the Moore/Norman submarkets continue to be the strongest area for retail centers, according to the Price Edwards survey of 194 retail centers with more than 25,000 square feet.

National retailers are being attracted to the area by the strong local economy, according to the report.

"Most of the new, larger centers are primarily leasing to national tenants," Price Edwards said in the report. "They are coming to the city with new prototypes or expansions from older locations."

Lease rates of $17 to $30 per square foot are the norm for new centers dominated by national tenants. Retail rental rates are generally $7 to $13 per square feet in neighborhood and older community centers, according to Price Edwards.

Retail centers in the Moore/Norman area had a vacancy rate at mid-2005 of 3.96 percent, the lowest of the seven submarkets in the report.

The area includes 2.9 million square feet of retail space with 117,753 square feet vacant at midyear.

Sooner Mall in Norman, the largest property in the submarket with 503,851 square feet, had a vacancy rate of 0.62 percent.

The vacancy rate for the north market at mid-2005 was 4.67 percent, virtually unchanged from the end of 2004. Low vacancy rates at Penn Square Mall and Quail Springs Mall offset higher vacancy rates along N. May Avenue.

"While a number of centers on May are still doing quite well, there are some vacancies emerging due to increased competition and some old-line tenants moving out," Price Edwards said in the report.

Penn Square Mall's vacancy rate at midyear was 0.45 percent and Quail Springs had a 2.18 percent vacancy rate, according to the Price Edwards report.

The area includes 34 shopping centers with 5.8 million square feet. Boundaries for the north market are Interstate 44 on the south, Lake Hefner Parkway on the west, the Broadway Extension on the east and the Quail Springs Mall area on the north.

The Edmond market with 2.1 million square feet of space in 23 retail complexes with more then 25,000 had a midyear vacancy rate of 8.27 percent, down from 9.57 percent at the end of 2004.

Four of the seven submarkets in the Price Edwards reports had retail vacancy rates at midyear of more than 12 percent.

The West-Central submarket had a vacancy rate of 14.89 percent, the highest for any of the seven areas in the report. The area includes 26 properties with 2.6 million square feet south of the NW 39th St. Expressway, north of Interstate 40, west of Lincoln Boulevard, Mustang and Yukon.

The Northwest submarket had a midyear vacancy rate of 13.67 percent. The area includes 29 shopping centers with 3.4 million square feet east of N. Pennsylvania Avenue and the Lake Hefner Parkway, north of the NW 39th Expressway. The north boundary is the area along W. Memorial Road.

The Eastern Oklahoma County submarket, which includes 24 retail centers with 2.1 million square feet, had a vacancy rate at mid-2005 of 12.66 percent.

Retail vacancies in the South submarket totaled 13.91 percent at midyear. The area has 31 shopping centers with 4.06 million square feet.

09-30-2005, 11:09 AM
Big box spaces being converted to other uses are also helping the cause.