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With Fitness Centers Flexing Their Absorption Muscles, DFW Retail Is Strong

Trend of retail occupancy in DFW

Dallas-Fort Worth's retail market has been remarkably consistently healthy for years, and with fitness and entertainment concepts absorbing big-box vacancies in Q3, the streak continues.

The DFW market absorbed 951K SF in Q3, up from 894K SF in Q2 and 722K SF in Q1, according to CBRE. The researchers credited fitness and entertainment concepts (particularly Planet Fitness, Club 4 Fitness and Texas Family Fitness) for accelerating the leasing of big-box centers. CBRE said more than 10 large blocks were taken down by gyms this year, and one of the largest deals of the quarter was Athletic Apex backfilling the 60K SF Neiman Marcus in Ridgmar Mall.

DFW metro retail is 94.7% occupied, unchanged from Q3. The overall trend has been up, though — absorption and construction have fluctuated together to keep occupancy perpetually (though typically incrementally) on the rise for years. Just under 390K SF delivered in Q3, a rise from 290K SF in Q2, but still one of the slowest quarters in the last six years. (For comparison, Q3 '17 delivered more than 1.2M SF.)

CORRECTION, OCT. 3, 3:40 P.M. CT: An earlier version of this story misstated the timeline of the fitness center big-box leases. It has been updated.