Retail space vacancies on the rise

The Milwaukee area’s retail real estate market has a 7.1 percent vacancy rate and posted negative net absorption of 135,263 square feet of space, according to Brookfield-based NAI MLG Commercial‘s first quarter 2009 retail market forecast.

Milwaukee (7.7 percent vacancy), Waukesha (7.0 percent), Ozaukee (5.0 percent) and Washington (4.2 percent) counties all posted higher vacancy rates in the fourth quarter than the third quarter, according to the report. Only Washington County had positive net absorption for the fourth quarter, at a miniscule 5,624 square feet.

In Milwaukee County Bayshore Town Center added tenants, but Southridge Mall lost Linens ‘n Things and Steve & Barry’s. More vacancies are cropping up on Bluemound Road in Waukesha County, including mid-box spaces once occupied by Linens ‘n Things, CompUSA and Lay-Z-Boy. A Linens ‘n Things closing in Germantown hurt Washington County’s vacancy rate. An Ethan Allen store closed in Ozaukee County.

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