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Everything Is Fine in the World of Local Retail Real Estate. Kind Of.

Vacancy rates are low, rents are steady, but change looms in 2020

By Julia Silverman November 26, 2019 Published in the December 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Powell's: The pinnacle of Portland retail.


‘Tis the season to go forth and shop, and Portland’s many small-batch retailers would far prefer you venture out in person, rather than click from the couch. Still, even in this age of instadelivery, the Portland retail market remains solid, according to Steve Kountz, a senior economic planner with the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Portland real estate attorney Joe Voboril of Tonkon Torp sounds a note of caution, though, pointing to a deep drop-off in new builds from 2014’s peak, and a “significant” uptick in recently vacated square footage, dating  to last spring.

Average rental cost of one square foot of retail space in Portland

1.2 million
Number of square feet that opened in the metro area in 2014

Local shops that participate in the Little Boxes program, back this year with more incentives to shop local for the holidays

Number of square feet of new retail space currently under construction in the metro area

Percentage of retail sales nationwide that are online shopping

Anchor tenant (Macy’s) still at Lloyd Center, after Sears, Nordstroms and Marshall’s all threw in the towel

Retail vacancy rate in the Portland metro area, well below the national average of 4.5 percent

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