'Alarming' Increases In Shopping Center Vacancies

<p>Empty retail space increased dramatically over the last six months, according to data compiled by commercial real estate brokers and investment advisors.</p>
June 20, 2008, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Chain retailers have announced plans to close more than 6,500 outlets by year's end, even as shopping center construction continues at a furious pace. Developers are on track to bring an estimated 137 million square feet of new retail space online this year. That's more than the average annual growth during the first half of the decade.

Suzanne Mulvee, senior economist at Property & Portfolio Research, estimates that the overall retail vacancy rate will reach 12.5 percent later this year. That's roughly 1.2 billion square feet, or around 40 square miles of empty shopping space (plus perhaps another 100 square miles of unused parking lot). To put that into perspective, the total land area of the city of Miami is 36 square miles. Between 1990 and 2005, the amount of retail space per capita in the U.S. doubled, from 19 to 38 square feet. In contrast, European countries generally have less than 10 square feet per person."

Thanks to Stacy Mitchell

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Published on Thursday, June 19, 2008 in Home Town Advantage Bulletin
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