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Commercial vacancies rise in Q4

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The construction of new office complexes by three major companies in Springfield coupled with a large factory building on the market are among factors taking a toll on the city’s real-estate vacancy rates.

Vacancies continued to climb in the fourth quarter in all three categories – office, industrial and retail – examined in the Xceligent Inc. Market Trends report released this month.

Office
The office vacancy rate climbed to 9.5 percent in fourth-quarter 2010, up from 8.9 percent in the third quarter and 8.2 percent in the second quarter.

“During the last three quarters, we’ve had some unique situations with regard to office space, with O’Reilly (Automotive Inc.) constructing its new headquarters, and of course, Jack Henry with development of a new campus, both resulting in what would not routinely be seen in the market as an exit of a large institutional user from leased space to corporate facilities,” said Mark Harrell, a Plaza Realty agent who specializes in office space.

Central Springfield’s business district recorded the highest office vacancy rate in the city at 11.9 percent, followed by the southeast, 11.2 percent; southwest, 5.6 percent; northeast, 2.8 percent; and northwest, 2.1 percent.

Office buildings of less than 5,000 square feet accounted for 53 percent of the 5.95 million square feet of total space in Springfield.

In the outlying areas, Nixa recorded an office vacancy rate of 36 percent, followed by Ozark, 14.8 percent. There were no office vacancies in Republic, Rogersville and Strafford, the report said. No rate was stated for Willard.

Construction of the new office facilities along with economic conditions, Harrell said, has led to the three quarters of increases.

Industrial
The industrial building vacancy rate increased to 4.7 percent in fourth-quarter 2010, up from 4.3 percent in the third quarter and 4 percent in the second quarter, but a local agent who specializes in industrial space believes that percentage might be low because Xceligent, which is similar to a Multilist service for commercial property, is still relatively new. Xceligent launched in Springfield in December of 2009.

Jerry Redfearn, a real estate agent with CJR Commercial, notes that Xceligent does not track warehouse space less than 10,000 square feet, and he estimated the industrial rate to be as high as 7 percent when those properties are included.

At 6.5 percent, central Springfield’s business district led with the highest industrial vacancy rate, followed by the southwest, 4.8 percent; northwest and northeast, 2.6 percent; and southeast, 1.6 percent.

Industrial buildings between 10,000 square feet and 24,999 square feet accounted for 34 percent of the 2.59 million square feet of total space in Springfield.

In the outlying areas, Rogersville had an industrial vacancy rate of 39.7 percent, followed by Republic, 23.8 percent; Ozark, 17 percent; Nixa, 12.3 percent; Strafford, 6 percent; and Willard, 4.9 percent.

Retail
The retail building vacancy rate increased to 5.9 percent in fourth-quarter 2010, up from 5.7 percent in the third quarter and 5.6 percent in the second quarter.

With a 5 percent retail vacancy rate, Aundria Plaza at 4301–4339 S. National Ave. is slightly below Springfield’s average, according to January figures at www.loopnet.com, a national listing site for commercial properties.

The 33,273-square-foot shopping center is listed for $4.7 million with Ken Schwab, a real estate agent with Wilhoit Properties who specializes in commercial and investment properties.

At 9.7 percent, central Springfield’s business district led with the highest retail vacancy rate, followed by the northwest, 8.4 percent; southwest, 7.7 percent; northeast, 5.3 percent; and southeast, 2.9 percent.

Convenience and strip centers accounted for 47 percent of the 1.18 million square feet of total retail space in Springfield.

In the outlying areas, Rogersville had a retail vacancy rate of 11.2 percent, followed by Nixa, 10.4 percent; Willard, 8.4 percent; Strafford, 7.7 percent; Ozark, 6.7 percent and Republic, 4.5 percent.[[In-content Ad]]

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