Retail Development Heats Up

Key Takeaways

  • The vacancy rate for the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC retail market was down to 11.98% at the end of the third quarter of 2014.  Rental rates averaged $10.74 NNN for shop space in the market.
  • Redevelopments of old shopping centers and the development of new centers are on the rise.
  • Downtown residential and daytime population growth is driving the retail market in the Central Business District and surrounding areas.
  • Retailers continue to choose the Upstate for their first South Carolina location.
  • Magnolia Park prepares for new openings.
  • New retailers backfill vacant big boxes.

Current Conditions

The Greenville/Spartanburg, SC retail market ended the third quarter of 2014 with a vacancy rate of 11.98%, down from 12.40% at mid-year 2014.  The market is receiving significant attention from national retailers, many of which are new to the Upstate and South Carolina.  Gabriel Brothers and Tijuana Flats, among others, have chosen Greenville for their first South Carolina location.  Retailers are backfilling vacant big boxes attributing to the decline in vacancy.  Gabriel Brothers and Conn’s have backfilled vacant big box spaces at The Gallery located at 583 Haywood Road that were formerly occupied by Steve and Barry’s and Babies “R” Us.  Redevelopments of older, less desirable suburban shopping centers are gaining momentum as more retailers show interest in the market.  Magnolia Park, a redevelopment of the former Greenville Mall, is nearing completion and has brought several new retailers to the market including Nordstrom Rack, Dave & Busters and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar.  

Downtown Greenville is experiencing heightened retail activity following improvements in the office market and an increase in planned residential developments.  Downtown Greenville is transforming into a live, work and play environment, appealing to a mix of retailers. 

  • Within the past year national retailers Anthropologie and Brooks Brothers have opened stores at ONE in Downtown Greenville.  Orvis and Vann and Liv have planned their grand openings at ONE for November 1st.  
  • Bevello, a Raleigh-based women’s clothing boutique is open at 123 N. Main Street.  
  • Responding to the growing daytime and residential population, Cianciolas, a deli-convenience store offering sandwiches, hot food, produce and grocery staples, plans to open on College Street near N. Main Street.    
  • Universal Joint, a Georgia-based neighborhood bar and restaurant is open at 300 Stone Avenue, the site of a former gas station.  The restaurant offers outdoor patio seating and items such as craft beers, tacos, burgers and salads.
  • Methodical Coffee will open by year-end at the Bank of America Plaza.   The coffee shop, which aims to bring a city vibe, will occupy 875 square feet on the ground floor and include a 400 square foot mezzanine balcony.

Rental rates are up for all types of retail space, anchor, junior anchor and shop space.  Anchor space asking rental rates averaged $4.36 NNN at the end of the third quarter, up from $4.14 NNN at mid-year 2014.  Asking rental rates for junior anchor space averaged $7.98 NNN, up from $7.84 NNN at mid-year 2014.  Shop space asking rental rates averaged $10.74 NNN at the end of the third quarter, up from $10.03 NNN at mid-year 2014.  The increased rental rates are the result of declining availability of retail space and have the potential to support future development in the market.

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