Entertainment, health and wellness boost Columbia retail occupancy
- The Columbia shopping center market absorbed 82,026 square feet during the fourth quarter of 2019; non-core retail space absorbed 30,059 square feet, while core retail shops absorbed 51,967 square feet.
- Shops catering to entertainment and healthy living are driving Columbia’s positive retail absorption.
- Urban retail affords opportunities for new retailers to locate to the area, and there are expansion options available throughout Columbia shopping centers.
2019 Retail Annual Recap
Over the past year the Columbia retail market absorbed 179,431 square feet. Non-core shops absorbed 126,267 square feet and the majority of absorption was disbursed among several shops ranging from 2,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. Core retail shops absorbed 53,164 square feet from the fourth quarter of 2018 through the fourth quarter of 2019. Positive absorption was driven mostly by entertainment and healthy living- Planet Fitness leased space at The Crossings Shopping Center and Greenwise Market moved into the Lexington Marketplace. In addition, this year a movie theater was added in the northeast next to The Meeting Place Church at 201 Columbia Mall Drive. Some of the larger negative absorption was due to Hobby Lobby and Fallas leaving East Pointe Shopping Center and Home Decor Outlets leaving Danwood Shopping Center (although Home Decor Outlets is moving to a new location and will likely create positive absorption by the first quarter of 2020).
The overall Columbia retail vacancy rate was 112 basis points lower than it was one year ago, it decreased from 10.70% during the fourth quarter of 2018 to 9.58% during the fourth quarter of 2019. Core shopping center space vacancy rate was 86 basis points less, while non-core vacancy was lower by 136 basis points. Average rental rates were less at the end of 2019 due to fewer available leasable spaces remaining in the market, and the fact the spaces that are currently available are of less quality than previous availabilities.
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