Steady, Tight Retail Market for 2013

Key Takeaways

  • The overall retail occupancy rate in Columbia, SC is continuing to climb, up 40 basis points from year-end 2012 to 91.77% at the end of the first quarter of 2013. 
  • With increasing demand for smaller retail spaces, asking rental rates for shop space is increasing while those of junior anchor and anchor spaces are decreasing slightly. 
  • Redevelopments of existing centers are attracting new retailers to the Columbia market. 
  • Columbia’s Main Street revitalization along with the University of South Carolina’s growth and expansion are attracting retailers to Main Street and nearby Cayce/West Columbia and Forest Acres retail submarkets. 
  • Highly anticipated Trader Joe’s opened its doors in the first quarter of 2013.

Current Condiitons

Recent months have brought positive change throughout Columbia, SC with the completion of a new shopping center along the Harbison Boulevard retail corridor and increased interest in Columbia’s Main Street and surrounding areas.  A survey of anchored shopping centers showed signs of an improved retail market evidenced by a low vacancy rate of 8.23% for the Columbia retail market with downtown Columbia and Forest Acres submarkets nearing full occupancy with vacancy rates of 1.45% and 0.62%, respectively.  The Northeast experienced a decline in vacancy to 9.85%, from last quarter’s 10.23%.  Despite Lexington’s continued growth, the submarket experienced a slight increase in vacancy of 42 basis points to 2.65% for the quarter.

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