Vacancy reached its highest point in over five years this April at 9.5 percent but dropped to 8.6 percent due to a few large vacancies being filled. Most of these transactions involved strong regional retailers: Albertsons announced they will occupy the former Shopko space in Meridian and D&B Supply leased the former Hastings/Sports Authority at Eastgate Shopping Center. Over 55,000 square feet will be occupied by multiple retailers, including Ace Hardware, in a former KMart at Fairview & Five Mile.
Lease rates must continue their steady increase to support new development. Rent increases which have traditionally averaged 3 percent per year are expected to increase even further for the near future, especially in small space units. Due to the tight market, concessions such as free rent will also be limited. Tenants must be flexible in this market and be prepared to compromise on everything from location to size.