NWA Retail Space Looks Poised for Rebound

by Serenah McKay  on Monday, Jul. 4, 2011 12:00 am  

Available retail space grew from 994,454 SF to 1.07 million.

More recent data provided by Xceligent Inc., a commercial real estate research company based in Independence, Mo., shows the retail vacancy rate for the second quarter this year at 8.6 percent, down from 9.4 percent in the same quarter last year.

Xceligent's data shows Benton and Washington counties had a total of 6.56 million SF of retail rental space as of June 17.

Of that total, 711,114 SF is classified as available, and 663,376 SF of available space is currently vacant.

"Available" refers to space that's currently occupied but has a timeline of when it can be vacated, such as immediately, in 30 days or in 60 days. "Vacant" means no tenant is occupying a space.

Bentonville has the highest retail vacancy rate, at 13.5 percent, followed by east Rogers at 12.5. West Rogers has the lowest, at 4.9 percent.

Fayetteville has the region's highest retail lease rates, averaging about $20 per SF. Retail space in Rogers and Bentonville leases for an average of $18 per SF, and Springdale averages $11 per SF.

Jeff Cooperstein, a researcher at the UA center, said lowering those vacancy rates would require job creation.

The main thing the area can do to create jobs, he said, is to support job training - "any kind of education that improves people's skill sets."

"As we keep supporting education, that makes us more attractive to businesses as well," he said.

What's Hot ... and Not
Northwest Arkansas' main retail corridors still garner the most interest from potential tenants, Lane said.

"People are looking to put their businesses - and their money - in safe bets," he said. "Everyone wants a home run sure thing."



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