RETAIL STILL TAKING A BEATING
While there are some indications of an overall CRE turnaround, retail remains the weak sister, new figures from Marcus & Millichap show. Negative retail absorption of 62k SF in the Charlotte area during Q1 2011 pushed vacancy to 9.6% from about 9.1% for the same period last year. The increase shows that, while store closings have slowed, too few new tenants have emerged to backfill, M&M?s senior analyst Art Gering tells us. New construction, consequently, has dropped precipitously. Developers completed a mere 252k SF of retail space in the 12 months ending in Q1 2011 compared to 849k SF of new space built in the previous year. And about 9.3M SF of proposed retail space remains on the drawing boards due to limited construction financing, Art says.