E-Commerce Drives the Retail Market

During the fourth quarter, the retail market began to cool down as the shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce continued to be prominent. The Columbus market posted 162,943 square feet of absorption, bringing the total for the year to 1,167,788 square feet- a 16 percent increase from last year. The vacancy rate increased by
40 basis points from the previous quarter to 5.8 percent as the retail market takes on new completions.
Asking rates took a hit this quarter bringing the overall rental rate to $11.34 - a 1.3 percent decrease from quarter three. Community centers posted a 3.3 percent increase to $12.45, while big box centers recorded the largest decline in average rental rates to $6.82. The recent pressure on the market to push down rental rates, in attempt to level out the playing field, is a result of the lack of certain types of space available for lease.
The Columbus retail market enjoyed 387,810 square feet of new completed retail space this quarter- a significant increase from the previous quarter. Kroger was in the spotlight for the completion of its three new locations: 1475 West 5th Ave., 1155 North 21st St., and 1745 Morse Road. Columbus continues to anticipate the completion of
IKEA’s new store near Polaris, the strip center at the corner of Broad Street and High Street, Value City Furniture at Polaris, and Phase One of Bridge Park in Dublin.

Key Takeaways
> The overall vacancy rate increased to 5.8 percent, a 40 basis point increase, returning to the same rate that was present during the second quarter of 2016.
> Columbus posted 387,810 square feet of completions this quarter, which is a drastic increase from the same quarter as last year when no completions were recorded.
> There was a decrease in asking rents across all property types resulting in an overall rental rate of $11.34 per square foot.