Retail Market Making a Comeback
The Greenville, SC retail market ended 2012 with a positive outlook arising from the overall vacancy rate of 9.31% approaching the market’s pre-recession levels. Rental rates remained mostly steady in 2012 with the exception of shop space which had an average asking rental rate of $13.59, $1.29 more than year-end 2011.
Activity remained strong and steady through 2012 as evidenced by big-box retailers moving into the market and the presence of ongoing construction projects in the area. Big-box spaces left vacant due to store closings during the recession have since by occupied by retailers such as Buy Buy Baby moving into Linen N Things’ former location at 1125 Woodruff Road and REI moving into Circuit City’s former location at 1140 Woodruff Road. Big-box retailer expansion coupled with the trending movement from Haywood Road to Woodruff Road resulted in a year-end vacancy rate of 3.55% for the Woodruff retail corridor, almost 4 percentage points lower than a year ago.
Despite the success of some national retailers, others continue to struggle.
- K-Mart plans to close two of their Greenville stores in 2013. The K-Mart at 640 Sulphur Springs Road is to close in January and the store at 2100 Wade Hampton Boulevard is expected to close in May.
- Food Lion has closed 4 of its 6 Greenville stores.
- Sports Authority closed both of their locations in the market.
As mixed use town centers continue to be popular with consumers and retailers, Magnolia Park is considered an up-and-coming entertainment and shopping center. The 550,000 square foot retail center is home to anchors Regal Cinemas, Costco and Rooms to Go. Retailers Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us and Cabela’s are coming soon to the center. The development, located at the intersection of I-85 and I-385 on Woodruff Road, is anticipated to include 1,070,000 square feet of retail space upon completion in 2014.
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