Retail Development Keeps the Market Hot

Key Takeaways

  • The overall vacancy rate remained steady throughout 2013 ending the year with a high occupancy rate of 91.3%.
  • New developments and redevelopments of vacant retail space are springing up throughout Columbia, SC.
  • Plans were announced for the vacant K-Mart site at Fort Jackson Boulevard and Garners Ferry Road across from Cross Hill Market.  The redevelopment is anticipated to be beneficial for Downtown Columbia.
  • Businesses are showing interest in Columbia as new retailers enter the market and existing ones expand their footprint.

Current Conditions

The market remained stable through the fourth quarter of 2013 which ended with an overall vacancy rate of 8.7%, down 8 basis points from the third quarter of 2013 but up 7 basis points from year-end 2012.  Average asking rental rates for anchor, junior anchor and shop space were $7.39, $7.27 and $13.95 NNN per square foot per year, respectively, at year-end.  The average asking rental rate for shop space is up from $13.41 NNN per square foot per year at year-end 2012 while asking rates for anchor and junior anchor space declined as remaining larger retail spaces are in less demand.  The greatest improvements through 2013 occurred in the Forest Acres/East Columbia, Lexington, Northeast Columbia and Southeast Columbia submarkets.  These areas have been outperforming other parts of Columbia as they contain growing residential populations and strong retail corridors.

An exciting redevelopment is soon to be underway in Downtown Columbia at the intersection of Fort Jackson Boulevard and Garners Ferry Road, across from Cross Hill Market. Georgia-based Bright-Meyers plans to redevelop the site of a former K-Mart into approximately 98,000 square feet of retail space.  The redevelopment, to be called Rosewood Crossing, will house national tenants Marshalls, Michaels and PetSmart and is anticipated to complete in the fall of 2014.  Upon completion, the center is likely to draw further activity to the up and coming retail corridor which is already home to Cross Hill Market, a Whole Foods anchored center, and a Target anchored center, Shoppes at Woodhill.  A steady population, affluent neighborhoods and close proximity to the University of South Carolina provide a promising environment for retailers.

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