Grocer Announcements Continue as Retail Market Diversifies
- The vacancy rate for the Greenville, SC retail market remained flat through the third quarter of 2015 despite significant interest from grocers and national retailers.
- New retailers announce plans to enter the market. Existing retailers grow footprints.
- Grocers continue to announce new stores as the region’s population grows.
- Redevelopment and new construction activity gains momentum.
- Asking rental rates are increasing as construction costs rise.
Greenville, South Carolina’s attractive demographics allow for a wide range of retailers to succeed in the market. New retailers continue to enter to the market, oftentimes opening their first South Carolina location. Redevelopment of older centers and new construction activity is gaining momentum as developers strive to meet retailers’ growing demand for quality space. Visibility and high traffic counts are key factors driving retail site selection, and developers are looking for ways to offer new space at appealing locations.
Verdae Development has begun work at its planned Laurens Road redevelopment. The former Sam’s Club and Best Buy locations were recently demolished to make way for construction. Plans include the development of more than 100 acres on Laurens Road between Verdae Boulevard and Woodruff Road. Approximately 30 acres will be redeveloped into retail space with the remaining 70 acres consisting of residential and public green space. The project sits at a highly visible location and is expected to receive positive attention from retailers.
Downtown has welcomed various new restaurants, bars and clothing stores over the past year following several residential developments. As the downtown residential population continues to grow, the submarket will likely see new retail development. A small shopping center is being redeveloped at Church Street and University Ridge. The center sits across the street from South Ridge, a new 350-unit apartment complex, and offers 6,429 square feet of retail space.
Despite several leases and user-focused construction activity, the vacancy rate remained flat through the third quarter of 2015, which ended with a vacancy rate of 12.6%. Asking rental rates for new retail space are on the rise as construction costs increase. At the end of the third quarter of 2015, asking rental rates for shop space averaged $12.33 PSF NNN.
Significant demand from retailers is evidenced by the recent investment sale of a grocery-anchored shopping center. Pelham Place, a 57,158 square-foot shopping center was recently acquired for $5.8 million. The center, located at 3093 South Highway 14 in Greenville, is home to a 38,003 square-foot vacant, but leased, grocery space.
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