Weitzman’s new retail report shows the impact of COVID-19 on retail real estate in San Antonio. Robert King, Weitzman San Antonio senior vice president, talks about the results.
Q. How has occupancy fared during the pandemic?
We did see vacancies, with the largest due to two vacated Sears. But thanks to landlord assistance, PPP programs and numerous retailer innovations, occupancy ended 2020 at 93.6 percent, on par with 94.5 percent at year-end 2019.
Q. Did the pandemic put expansions on hold?
Fortunately, no. Starting during the second half of 2020, demand from shops, services and even restaurants showed an upswing, and that is continuing in 2021.
Q. What about new construction?
Conservative deliveries prevent overbuilding, and that was the case in 2020. Only 355,000 square feet came online, for H-E-B and a handful of neighborhood centers.
With 2021's vaccine promising a greater re-opening of the economy, we expect this year to be one of recovery, and a return to the pre-pandemic economic health by 2022.