It is a good time to be building or renting retail space in Central Pennsylvania!
Second quarter 2015 closed out with the highest quoted rental rate we have seen since at least 2011. Retail businesses are willing to pay the $11.75 per square foot – and more – to move into highly sought after space in Harrisburg, Lancaster, York and the surrounding areas.
Combine this with the fact that the market absorbed a combined 144,318 square feet of space, bringing us back into the black with net absorption, and you can see why we’re hopeful that this is the start of a healthy and prosperous trend in Central PA real estate.
Let’s take a deeper dive into what the numbers are telling us about second quarter 2015 and what we can expect for the future of retail real estate in the Central Pennsylvania submarket.
Select Top Retail Leases
Properties all across the Philadelphia retail market continue to change hands as businesses exit and enter leases. Looking specifically at the Central Pennsylvania submarket, there are several retail leases that occurred in second quarter 2015 that are worth noting.
Blue Mountain Thrift Store now occupies the space at 2 N. Londonderry Square in Harrisburg Area East. In Harrisburg Area West, Peebles moved into the Shippensburg Shopping Center. And finally York County welcomed CSL Plasma into its Eastern Boulevard Plaza.
Select Year-to-Date Deliveries:
Three of the top 10 year-to-date deliveries in the Philadelphia retail market occurred in the Central Pennsylvania submarket. The Messina Highlands project in Shrewsbury was completed this quarter with an RBA of 30,000 square feet and a quoted rental rate of $26.06. A ton of popular shops including AT&T and Panera Bread will occupy this space. Currently, 32% of the space is still available for rent.
Another retail property located at 2108 S. Queen Street, York was delivered this quarter with an RBA of 16,000 square feet and is 100% occupied. Finally, the construction project at 750 Lititz Pike, Lititz was also completed in Q2. This property has an RBA of 10,820 square feet and its quoted rental rate is $17.
Select Top Sales:
Among the top select sales in Q2, the Central Pennsylvania submarket had two of the top nine on the list. The Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace in Harrisburg came in at number three. Clarion Partners purchased this from Stanberry Development, LLC for $44,000,000. In Lancaster, the Manor Shopping Center was sold by the Real Estate Equity Company, LLC to Wharton Realty Group for $34,990,000.
This quarter, the vacancy rate dipped ever so slightly from 5.6% to 5.5%. These numbers have remained fairly stable ever since first quarter 2014 which is the last time we saw it at 6.0% or higher. The vacant square feet also reflected this small change in vacancy rate, decreasing by 93,642 square feet.
Looking at the quoted rental rates, Q2 experienced a $0.20 raise from $11.55 to $11.75. This is the highest rental rate we have seen in the Central Pennsylvania retail submarket since third quarter 2011.
Absorption and Demand:
Last quarter, the net absorption dropped into the red at negative 160,861 square feet. In second quarter 2015, we are back in the black with 144,318 square feet. This significant change was certainly a reflection of the 3 new buildings that were delivered this quarter.
The Central Pennsylvania submarket experienced some exciting changes in second quarter 2015 that indicate a healthy and growing retail industry. Returning to a positive net absorption and increasing quoted rental rates to the highest they have been in more than four years demonstrates the demand for retail space in the local area. Additionally, three new buildings delivered to the market, with two more under-construction, are signs that Central Pennsylvania retail businesses are demanding more space to grow!
The retail industry is a strong indicator of economic health. At the local level, there is a lot we can take from this quarter’s numbers and apply them toward predicting the growth and changes in our overall economy. Retail businesses are investing in this area, moving and expanding into new spaces that are driving up net absorption and the quoted rental rate. We should enjoy this growth and excitement, as it is sure to catch the attention of other retail businesses who may also consider making Central Pennsylvania “home” for some of their stores.
How will the growth of the local retail real estate market impact you or your business? Share your personal insights – or ask a question by commenting below!