Small Shop Space Dominated 2017The Omaha retail market ended the year with a healthy vacancy rate of 8.4 percent, flat from the previous quarter’s vacancy rate of 8.4 percent. Positive absorption of 53,065 square feet took place for the quarter and 287,114 square feet for the year. Unlike in years past, most of the absorption and new construction added to the market occurred in small shop space. This year Omaha welcomed a few new big box stores, such as an additional TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Aldi and Cavender’s, a new Ross Dress for Less, a couple of new stores at Nebraska Crossing Outlets, and a new Harbor Freight store. For the most part, however, many deals took place in small shop space this year. Various industry types were represented in leasing activity, but service-oriented retail, such as health care, fitness and salon space led the way. The year also experienced the closure of big box stores such as several Gordman’s and ShopKo stores. The market adjusted accordingly with former retail spaces being transformed in to non-traditional use such as self-storage.