Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Retail Occupancy Rate Hits Three-Year High: Property Sales on Track for Annual Record

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Retail Occupancy Rate Hits Three-Year High: Property Sales on Track for Annual Record

Article excerpt

The Tulsa retail market occupancy rate rose to 91.19 percent at the end of June, the highest mark in three years, according to the midyear update by CB/Richard Ellis Oklahoma.

Rents have shown slight improvement, said Richard H. Monaghan, a principal and broker associate with the Tulsa office. But the overall rate of $9.05 per square foot represented a 4.4-percent drop from December, and the lowest level since mid-2002.

Monaghan said the city's robust retail activity, which has also resulted in strong sales tax growth for the city of Tulsa, has spurred not only increased construction of neighborhood convenience centers - to accommodate small businesses such as sandwich shops, hair salons and other outlets - but also property sales.

The first half of 2006 brought sales of 10 multi-tenant shopping centers in the Tulsa area representing 1.6 million square feet of space, including Owasso's 550,000-square-foot Smith Farm Marketplace. That compares to 16 centers sold for all of 2005, totaling just 1.39 million square feet.

Monaghan said that activity puts 2006 on track to set a new record in both number of Tulsa properties sold and total square feet represented.

The marketplace - the report surveyed 205 centers with 17.5 million square feet - had posted a 10.75-percent vacancy rate at the close of 2005.

Class A centers - the survey included 22, representing 5.47 million square feet - enjoyed the highest occupancy rate at 95.3 percent, he said. They also recorded the highest rents, averaging $14.53 a square foot.

"Several newer centers are being pre-leased at $25 to $28 per square foot, triple net and higher," Monaghan said, "with a couple of projects in excess of $30 per square feet, triple net."

Northeast Tulsa, which included four surveyed Class A properties, claimed the highest sector occupancy rate at 99.24 percent. All other regions topped 90 percent except south Tulsa, whose three centers posted a 78.4-percent occupancy rate.

The one property surveyed in north central Tulsa posted the highest Class A lease rate, at $22.50 a square foot (it also recorded a 98.7-percent occupancy rate). …

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