Vacancy down, construction up and rents steady for Palm Beach County retail, report says

May 29, 2013 01:00PM

Retail in the county’s hottest submarket, Boca Raton

After a rough patch post-recession, retail vacancy is down and construction is up in Palm Beach County, according to the second quarter market report from commercial brokerage Marcus & Millichap, released yesterday.

Retail vacancy should plummet to about 8.4 percent in 2013, the report predicts, as retail sales rise with the local employment recovery.

Vacancy last year sat at 9.8 percent, per Marcus & Millichap’s numbers. The Boca Raton submarket had the lowest vacancy in the second quarter of 2013, at 6.3 percent, and West Palm Beach the highest, at 9.9 percent.

Rents will rise modestly this year, the report predicted, to an average ask of $16.45 per square foot in the county, up 0.5 percent from the average in 2012. Shopping center rents fell about 4 percent, to $16.06 per square foot, the report shows.

The county should also add more than 500,000 square feet of retail space, with more than 80,000 square feet of that in shopping centers, up from 10,000 built in shopping centers in 2012, per the report. –– Guelda Voien