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Kamloops News

High retail vacancy rate 'a one-off for Kamloops'

KAMLOOPS - Commercial space vacancy in Kamloops is the highest it has been in the last three years but market analysts at a local real estate firm suggest the percentage is based solely on the thousands of square footage left empty by the now-defunct Target Canada in Sahali Mall.

Prior to the big box departure, the city's vacancy rate for commercial space sat between five and six per cent. Katie Martin, a researcher at Colliers International's in Kamloops, says the rate jumped from 5.66 per cent to 7.65 per cent within the last year.

Ron Ehrenholz, the managing broker for the firm, calls the change in data 'a one-off thing,' adding 'it’ll probably be two or three tenants that take (the space.)'

"Kamloops is probably one of the most consistent economically stable places,” he says, noting the mall’s location in the Southgate-Aberdeen area is 'the heart of the retail community in Kamloops.'

Because of the Target closure, the most highly sought after area in town had its vacancy double from 4.12 per cent to 9.92 per cent this year.

Ehrenholz says the closure likely slowed development for several companies as they considered the space.

“Southwest is really the place where national and regional franchises want to locate. A lot of people wait for Southwest,” he says, but notes Brocklehurst is also a neighbourhood commercial developers are keeping an eye on. “There is this quiet sort of movement of tenants repositioning in the market. There’s probably about four business that have expanded out there.”

City-wide business closures since 2012 include Zellers, Target, East Side Marios, Rona, XS Cargo, Tony Romas, Petcetera, Blockbuster, Smart Set, Shoe Warehouse, Five Guys Burgers, Future Shop, Nando’s, ABC Country Restaurant, Fields and Ric’s Grill.

Business to open since 2012 are: Gap, Mr. Mikes, Carl’s Jr. , Swiss Chalet, Michael Hill, David’s Tea, Menchies, an expanded Dollarama, Chatters, Shark’s Club, Moxies and Best Buy.

Browns Socialhouse, a restaurant chain, and Peavey Mart, a hardware ang agriculture store, are two new businesses to purchase space this year. Peavey Mart will take over the old Convergys space in Valleyview, which has been empty for more than five years now.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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