The Twin Cities retail real estate market seems to be turning around.
NorthMarq, a commercial real estate firm based in Minneapolis, said the vacancy rate for local retail space has dipped to 9.8 percent. A year ago, the rate stood at slightly more than 10 percent.
"We're kind of inching back down," said Tricia Pitchford of NorthMarq, a commercial real estate firm based in Minneapolis.
She said nine vacant big-box retail spaces have been leased recently and expects about 750,000 square feet of vacant retail space will be leased next year. That could knock the vacancy rate down by about one percentage point.
"We are finally seeing some movement and some positive things happening with some of the big boxes that have been vacated by Circuit City, Linens 'n Things, and Cost Plus World Market," Pitchford said.
She expects another ten or so similar big-box properties could soon get new tenants. That would still leave about 50 empty big-box retail spaces in the Twin Cites. They typically have at least 15,000 square feet of space.
Pitchford said retail real estate vacancy rates are lowest around the big regional malls. They're highest at retail centers outside the Interstate 494/694 beltways.