Store Closings Cause Slow Start to 2017

The retail market is witnessing a rapid shift in trends that has changed the demand for space and consumer preferences. During the first quarter, the retail market was heavily affected by Giant Eagle closing underperforming stores in their portfolio, which included three Central Ohio locations. The Columbus retail market posted 335,464 square feet of negative absorption. The overall vacancy rate increased by 90 basis points, bringing
the rate for the quarter to 6.7 percent.

Asking rates dropped for the third consecutive quarter to $11.27- a 2.7 percent decrease from the same quarter last year. Community centers recorded the largest increase in rates from $12.45 to $13.32, and power centers also enjoyed a slight rise to $11.48. Anchored strip centers posted the greatest decrease in average asking rents to $10.71, down from the previous quarter at $11.36. Average asking rates are expected to decline due to the decrease in demand for certain retail spaces.

The Columbus retail market posted 86,355 square feet of new completed projects. Value City Furniture completed its new 37,500-square-foot big box at 1091 Gemini Place, and Bridge Park Phase One in Dublin completed two mixed-use projects at 6640-6880 Riverside Drive totaling 33,497 square feet. Columbus records 723,879 square feet of construction in the pipeline, and a few of those projects include IKEA at Polaris, the anchored strip center at the corner of Broad Street and High Street, the remainder of Bridge Park Phase One in Dublin, and Linworth Crossing at 2233 W Dublin Granville Road.

Key Takeaways
> After 16 consecutive quarters of positive absorption, Columbus posted 335,464 square feet of negative net absorption.
> Community centers recorded a 7 percent increase in asking rates compared to the previous quarter, equaling $13.32 per square foot.
> Columbus posted 723,879 square feet of construction and anticipates mixed-use developments will help stimulate demand.