Occupancy and Rental Rates Near Record High

Key Takeaways

  • Retail activity was steady through the early months of 2014 which ended with a high occupancy rate of 92.9%.
  • Focus on Downtown Charleston results in record high occupancy rates.
  • Rental rates soar for King Street shop space.
  • Corner at Wescott Shopping Center in the Summerville submarket delivered.
  • Redevelopments underway on Upper King Street in Downtown Charleston.

Current Conditions

2014 is looking bright for the Charleston, South Carolina retail market despite a slight increase in the market vacancy rate to 7.14% at the end of the first quarter of 2014 from the year-end 2013 rate of 6.98%.  The increase is a result of several big box closings throughout the suburban submarkets.  The largest closure was K-Mart closing its doors at Johnnie Dodds Boulevard and Bowman Road earlier this year adding approximately 87,000 square feet of available anchor space to the market.  The recently vacated roughly 131,000 square foot shopping center provides a redevelopment opportunity for the highly occupied East Cooper submarket.  

Summerville continues to be the tightest suburban submarket with the lowest vacancy rate, 4.18%, and highest average asking rental rate for shop space, $21.72 NNN.  The Corner at Wescott, a new shopping center in Summerville, delivered early in 2014 and is anchored by Harris Teeter and co-anchored by Marshalls.  Marshalls relocated from The Promenade at Northwoods in North Charleston.

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