Total Retail Inventory Stands at 194.6 Million SF in Eastern Massachusetts, With Vacancy at 8.6 Percent

Bob Sheehan

BURLINGTON, MA  KeyPoint Partners released its retail  report on Eastern Massachusetts/Greater Boston, saying total retail inventory stands at 194.6 million square feet in Eastern Massachusetts, with vacancy remaining at 8.6 percent.

This comprehensive retail real estate report examines supply, occupancy, absorption, and retailer expansion and contraction for virtually every retail property in the region.

According to the Report, total retail real estate inventory in the region was 194.6 million square feet, a gain of 854,000 square feet, or 0.4%. The vacancy rate was 8.6%, a modest improvement from 2016.

Big Y was the retailer adding the most new space in the region, by way of its acquisition of eight Hannaford locations. The Grocery category led all retail categories in added square footage, with Health & Fitness in second place, led by Life Time Fitness. Department Stores lost the most square footage in the region, contracting by 889,500 square feet.

Bob Sheehan

“It was another trying year for brick-and-mortar retailers and landlords. Amazon and other online retailers have created a sea change in the way people shop. The fallout will continue,” said Bob Sheehan, Vice President of Research at KeyPoint. “We’re also coping with a new generation of millennial shoppers for whom shopping online is the norm. If retailers are unable to offer them a satisfying omnichannel experience, they’ll be unable to retain them.”

The KeyPoint Report is based on KeyPoint Partners’ GRIID, a powerful source of retail market knowledge that maintains detailed information on virtually every retail property in key New England markets. The Eastern Massachusetts Report includes 189 cities and towns, representing more than 3,500 square miles (44% of Massachusetts’ land area) and approximately 5 million people (76% of the state population).

“On the bright side, job growth and low unemployment have provided a relatively healthy economy which should result in increased spending potential. We’ve been seeing investors buying distressed property and repurposing for mixed-use, residential, hotel, and other non-retail projects, and developers acquiring antiquated retail centers in quality locations and repositioning them into viable projects”, Sheehan notes.

The KeyPoint Reports for Southern New Hampshire and Greater Hartford, Connecticut will follow shortly.

Headquartered in Burlington, MA, KeyPoint Partners is the region’s premier commercial real estate service firm, providing property and asset management services for more than 22 million square feet of retail, office, and industrial properties, leasing for retail properties totaling nearly seven million square feet, and tenant representation services for local, regional, and national retailers.



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