The Richmond retail market did not change much from the third quarter, with the vacancy rate dropping to 5.1% from 5.2% in Q3. Net absorption was positive at 67,072 square feet, and average quoted rental rates decreased from Q3, ending at $14.78 per square foot per year across all property types.
The fourth quarter can be described as "Food and Fun" as the market continued to see experiential retail including barcades, bowling, and specialty sports concepts including shuffleboard and TopGolf. Food continues its massive presence in the market as Richmond has now established itself as a food destination, fueled by chef driven restaurants.
New QSRs have emerged across the market, and we will begin to see specialized food exclusions in shopping centers, leading to more diverse food opportunities throughout the city.
Big boxes continue to face a challenge as stores shift their focus to online sales, and downsize or reduce their footprints. Landlords will need to creatively backfill the spaces left behind, some of which have included trampoline parks, self-storage, hotels as well as full teardowns for multifamily uses.