Weitzman’s year-end report for retail in San Antonio shows an increase in both occupancy, as well as a notable decline in new retail space when based on the previous decade. David Nicolson, president with Weitzman’s San Antonio office, discussed the current market, the boost in building, and forecast for 2020.
Q. What are we seeing in the San Antonio retail sector at this time?
A. San Antonio’s retail market reports 94.5 percent occupancy, a healthy rate thanks to steady retail demand and new tenancy for some of the market’s larger vacant spaces. For example, Burlington and Conn’s absorbed former Toys “R” Us spaces, and Bed Bath & Beyond and two other junior anchors backfilled a former Sears space. Retail demand, coupled with conservative construction, has helped boost occupancy in our existing retail centers.
Q. What do you mean by conservative retail construction?
A. Since 2019 ended a decade, we looked at the past 10 years of construction and compared it to the previous decade’s totals. From 2000-2009, the market added 17,658,300 square feet. During this most recent decade, from 2010 to 2019, the total dropped by nearly 11 million square feet to a 10-year total of 6,784,300 square feet.
That’s one reason occupancy is up by nearly 5 percentage points compared to 2009.
Q. What do you expect for 2020?
A. San Antonio has always been a steady-as-she-goes market, and we expect to see that stability continue this year. We’ll see several active retail projects, like the IKEA-anchored Live Oak Town Center, add new phases, as well as a handful of new projects. Overall, we expect another healthy year.