Region’s retail market recovering from tough start to the year

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After a tough first quarter, the southeastern Wisconsin retail real estate market continued to show improvement in the third quarter, according to the latest report from Xceligent and the Commercial Association of Realtors.

The region’s retail market absorbed 77,975 square feet of space during the third quarter. The largest retail space lease deals in the quarter were for Hobby Lobby, which leased 65,000 square feet of space in Menomonee Falls and 55,000 square feet of space in Kenosha.

However, the market was hurt by the closing of three AMF bowling centers, vacating a total of 135,000 square feet of space. The market still has negative absorption of 66,535 square feet of space for the year due to first close Kmart and Sears store closures.

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The region’s retail space vacancy rate held steady at 8.4 percent, the same as the second quarter, up from 7.7 percent at the end of 2013.

Third quarter retail space vacancy rates by county:
– Washington, 6.9 percent
– Waukehsa, 7.4 percent
– Milwaukee, 8.5 percent
– Kenosha, 8.9 percent
– Walworth, 10.3 percent
– Sheboygan, 11.0 percent
– Racine, 11.9 percent

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