Tanger Outlets boost Retail Numbers

Similar to the rest of the Columbus economy, the retail market continues to ride a wave of expansion with yet another quarter of strong leasing activity, new developments on the horizon, and lower vacancy rates. At the end of the second quarter, the Columbus retail market, comprised of Franklin and the surrounding six counties, saw
624,940 square feet of net absorption (the net change in occupied square feet) constituting the 17th consecutive quarter of growth. Absorption numbers are up 36 percent compared to the second quarter of 2015. As a result, the overall vacancy rate has dwindled to 5.8 percent– an impressive turnaround from the recession-era high of 13.2
percent.

Asking rental rates have been relatively stable throughout this expansion phase. During the second quarter, rental rates saw a slight uptick compared to the previous quarter– the average rental rate for anchored strip centers bumped 0.4 percent to $11.51 per square foot and the average big box rate rose 11 percent to $6.94. The overall
average asking rate now stands at $11.61– a 4.1 percent increase year-over-year.

The headlining story this quarter was the grand opening of the Tanger Outlets in north Delaware County. The new mall added 350,000 square of outlet retail space to the market, and, according to Tanger, 95 percent is already occupied. Major projects still in the construction phase include IKEA’s 354,000-square-foot department store in
Polaris; Dublin’s Bridge Park development, Phase One will contain 130,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space; and Dublin Green, a 400,000-square-foot power center at State Route 161 and U.S. Highway 33 that will be anchored by Costco.

Key Takeaways
> The overall vacancy rate fell 80 basis points to 5.8 percent over the second quarter. Vacancy rates have been on the decline since 2009.
> The average rate now stands at $11.61 per square foot– a 4.1 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2015.
> 1,291,962 square feet of new retail projects are now under construction. The majority of the new developments are concentrated in the Northwest submarket.