Retail property vacancy tiptoed up to 9.9 percent here by midyear, but Price Edwards & Co. sees it as a pause since national chains are becoming active again and popular stores are looking for space.
It was mainly struggling by local tenants, not chains, that caused vacancy to creep up from 9.8 percent at the first of the year, the firm said in its 2012 Mid-Year Retail Market Summary. Local retail tenants are “always more volatile,” Price Edwards said, “and many have been stretched over the last three years in a very price-competitive retail environment.”
For the rest of the year, Price Edwards said, “positives significantly outweigh the negatives.” Dick's Sporting Goods has its four stores well under way for opening this fall. The Outlet Shoppes of Oklahoma is adding 28,000 square feet and several new name-brand stores. LA Fitness is opening several locations.
Costco is looking, which does not mean Costco is coming.
“They've hired local brokers and are actively seeking locations,” Price Edwards said in the report, compiled and written by Jim Parrack, senior vice president and retail property specialist.
“Costco has done this previously and not pulled the trigger but seem more serious this time. We'll see.”
Parrack said Costco's decision doesn't hinge on its ability to sell wine. A proposed state question would give Oklahoma counties of 50,000 or more people the option of allowing some grocery stores to sell wine. The state Supreme Court is reviewing two protests opposing the initiative petition. The issues cannot be resolved in time for a state question on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Read all of Price Edwards & Co.'s 2012 Mid-Year Retail Market Summary free online at www.priceedwards.com (registration required).