National Tenants Compete for Limited Retail Space

Key Takeaways

  • Market vacancy rate is down to 6.32%.  Downtown vacancy rate is just 3.56%.  Rental rates averaged $17.72 per square foot for shop space with some tenants seeing rates as high as $77 per square foot in the Downtown submarket.
  • The retail market is becoming a landlord’s market as available retail space runs scarce.
  • The trend of recycling retail space continues.  New development activity is picking up.
  • New restaurants make Charleston debut.
  • Job creation is driving the suburban retail market attracting grocers, restaurants and sporting goods stores.  

Current Conditions

The Charleston, SC retail market ended the second quarter of 2014 on a positive note with a lower market vacancy rate and higher average asking rental rates.  The market vacancy rate was down to 6.32% at the end of the second quarter from 7.14% at the end of the first quarter of 2014.  Activity in the suburbs is gaining momentum and attracting new retailers such as Nordstrom Rack, Walmart Neighborhood Market and Aldi.  Downtown Charleston continues to offer an increased amount of shopping and dining options for residents and tourists.  Suburban submarkets had a vacancy rate of 6.50% and the Downtown submarket had a vacancy rate of 3.56% at mid-year 2014.  Rental rates are trending upwards and averaged $17.72 per square foot for shop space at the end of the second quarter.

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