Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Shopping Centers See Sales of $8 Billion

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Shopping Centers See Sales of $8 Billion

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter Retail sales of $8 billion last year by Oklahoma shopping centers barely eclipsed the 1989 figure of $7.9 billion, but it was enough to declare 1990 sales as an all-time high figure.

Statistics were reported by the International Council of Shopping Centers, which also said the $8 billion sales figure amounted to 51 percent of all non-automotive retail sales in Oklahoma last year.

Shopping center construction in Oklahoma didn't fare as well. A paltry $2 million in construction contracts were awarded in all of 1990, down radically from $22 million in 1989, according to the report. Construction contract value in 1988 was $9 million.

A comparison of metro area construction showed that construction began on only one new shopping center in Oklahoma City last year, and none in Tulsa. Both cities saw groundwork laid for two new centers during 1989.

New center gross leasable area of 12,000 square feet in Oklahoma City last year was down 94 percent from 211,000 square feet in 1989. Tulsa went from 2 million new square feet in 1989 to none last year, the report said.

The $300,000 in shopping center construction contracts awarded in Oklahoma City last year was down 96 percent from $8.3 million in 1989.

Tulsa contracts went from $100,000 in 1989 to none last year.

The New York City-based trade group blamed the plummet in construction activity on witholding of credit to shopping centers by tightfisted banks.

Construction employment of zero last year contrasted with 400 in 1989. The three construction center starts recorded in Oklahoma last year compared to four in 1989, the report said.

Council officials told The Journal Record that construction employment was recorded at zero because such figures are rounded to the nearest hundred, and apparently the total number of individuals employed at shopping center construction sites did not even come near 100.

The decline in shopping center construction starts began months before the onset of the current economic recession, the report said. Even shopping center development companies with flawless credit histories are finding credit terms being re-defined mid-loan, funds being withdrawn mid-construction and banks demanding larger equity positions in new centers than ever before, said Don Pendley, council spokesman. …

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