NAI Avant Releases Charleston Retail Report


NAI RetailFueled by job growth, consumer spending and tourism, Charleston continues to be on fire in 2017, earning one accolade after the other. Following the significant recognition by Travel + Leisure Magazine as “World’s Best City” in 2016, Charleston ranked number one on Southern Living Magazine’s list of the “South’s Best Cities 2017.” The continuous national and international recognition of this city incentivizes retailers to invest in the market. The saying “when one door closes, another door opens” can be taken literally along downtown Charleston’s iconic King Street, as at least nine retailers prepared to close their doors and nine opened during 1Q17.

Downtown rental rates continue to test new heights, making a jump from $40.54 per square foot (PSF) in 4Q16, to $43.86 PSF, and even reaching as high as $89.00 PSF on lower King Street. Though the peninsula is seeing the most dramatic increase, rental rates across the Charleston MSA are on the rise as well, increasing from $18.57 PSF at the end of 2016 to $20.46 at the end of the first quarter of 2017.

As the rental rates increase, so does the amount of overall vacant space in the market. Sky-high rates and a struggling brick-and-mortar industry are causing tenants to leave their spaces, nudging the vacancy rate up to 3.4% at quarter’s-end. While some property owners are closing on-site businesses, and selling their real estate to hungry buyers, others are choosing to sublease their spaces. Vacant sublet space has trended down, lessening from 36,900 square feet (SF) at the end of 2016 to 12,497 SF, currently.



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