The hollow sound of vacancy

Minnesota State Roundup

Ronald A. Wirtz | Editor, fedgazette | @RonWirtz

Published September 1, 2009  | September 2009 issue

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.