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The hollow sound of vacancy

Minnesota State Roundup

September 1, 2009


Ron Wirtz Editor, fedgazette
The hollow sound of vacancy

Housing isn’t the only construction or real estate sector suffering through the recession. In the Twin Cities, for example, commercial real estate is on the ropes, grasping for traction as vacancy rates rise.

According to a report this summer by NorthMarq, a real estate brokerage, vacancy rates for retail property owners in the Twin Cities hit a 14-year high, at 9 percent overall and 10.3 percent including subleased space looking for renters. High vacancy rates are hitting normally strong suburban locations as well, including shopping meccas in Minnetonka and Bloomington, according to NorthMarq. At the same time, discount stores and thrift outlets like Goodwill and pawn shops are about the only retail segments seeing growth.

Ron Wirtz
Editor, fedgazette

Ron Wirtz is a Minneapolis Fed regional outreach director. Ron tracks current business conditions, with a focus on employment and wages, construction, real estate, consumer spending, and tourism. In this role, he networks with businesses in the Bank’s six-state region and gives frequent speeches on economic conditions. Follow him on Twitter @RonWirtz.