Q2 2012 Charlotte, North Carolina Retail Market Trends

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Q2 2012 Charlotte, North Carolina Retail Market Trends

Charlotte’s 22.7-million-square-foot community-neighborhood shopping center market had another quiet quarter. Vacancy fell 20 basis points over the quarter to 10.5%. That is down 30 basis points year-over-year. July data show a 10-basis-point drop. The rate for power centers is reported at 3.7%, down 70 basis points year-over-year. Only 48,000 square feet of community-neighborhood space completed in 2011 in Reis submarkets, and 39,000 (of Free Standing retail) have completed so far in 2012, according to Reis’ latest construction data. Charlotte is not an active market. About 4 million square feet were added from 2002 to 2011, averaging less than 400,000 per year. Net absorption totaled just less than 3 million in that time span. For the second quarter, net absorption totaled 48,000 square feet, plus another 20,000 in July, Reis reports. Two neighborhood/community centers, Cedar’s Walk and Shops at Howard’s Mill (Phase II), are on tap to complete in 2012.

Reis reports a second quarter average asking rent of $17.92 psf and an average effective rent of $15.65 psf for Charlotte, both up 0.3% for the quarter and up 0.4% and 0.5% over 12 months. July data show no increases. For power centers, Reis reports a second quarter rent of $23.15 psf, up 0.8% over 12 months. Rents have not performed well here, and gains of only about 1.0% are forecast for 2012, after which similarly modest increases are forecast for 2013. After that rents should pick up, according to Reis.

“It seems the Democratic National Convention hasn’t been a boost for all uptown retailers,” the Business Journal reported. “John Bitter, who owns Johnny Burrito, calls it a ‘bust’ for his business this week. Even with an estimated 30,000 people in town for the Democratic National Convention, Bitter had concerns about how his uptown restaurant, located in Two Wells Fargo Center, would fare, Standing at the corner of South College and East Martin Luther King Boulevard at lunch time, Bitter said his fears have been realized and then some. ‘I didn’t think it would be this bad,’ Bitter said, adding that other uptown retailers have told him their sales are down by two-thirds.”