Central New Jersey retail vacancy rate rises to 9.8%

Old Bridge, N.J. — The retail vacancy rate along central New Jersey’s major shopping corridors increased to 9.8% this summer, according to R.J. Brunelli & Co.’s 24th annual study of the central New Jersey market.

The disappointing upward spike follows a major decline from a 10-year high of 10.5% to 9.1% between 2011 and 2012. R.J. Brunelli attributed the change to growing closures of smaller ships overcoming progress in re-tenanting big-box spaces larger than 20,000 sq. ft.

Overall, the report uncovered 2.95 million sq. ft. of vacancies in the 30.22 million sq. ft. of space studied along State Highways 1, 9, 18, and 35 in Mercer, Middlesex and Monmouth counties and a small section of Ocean County. Improvements on Routes 1 and 18 were countered by rising vacancies along Routes 9 and 35.

Over the last 10 years, the four corridors had their strongest performance in 2006, when the combined vacancy factor stood at just 3.4%.

Availabilities were seen in 192 of the 796 sites visited throughout the region during the year’s second quarter.

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