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KeyPoint Partners Retail Report Shows Recovery Underway

Comprehensive Eastern MA Report shows higher occupancy, moderate expansion

KeyPoint Partners, LLC has released The KeyPoint Report for Eastern Massachusetts/Greater Boston 2013, Bob Sheehan, Vice President of Research, announced today. The Report examines supply, occupancy, absorption, and retailer expansion and contraction for virtually every retail property in the region. This year’s Report features a ten-year historical perspective: a profile of the market from the relatively good times beginning in 2003 to the present.

“This was a recovery year,” Sheehan says, “This study saw the largest vacancy rate drop in more than a decade; the second strongest absorption rate since 2005; fewer large format chain closings; and moderately healthy expansion by retailers.”

According to the report, total retail space for the region was 189.5 million square feet. Nearly two million square feet of unoccupied space was filled, which brought the vacancy rate to 7.8%, down from 8.9% a year ago, the largest drop in more than a decade. Market Basket led all retailers in square feet of expansion in the region, adding 230,000 square feet, while Subway ranked first in new store count, opening 34 units.

“When it comes to growth by retail category, it was food, food, and then some exercise,” Sheehan says. “Eating Places topped the rankings in both new square footage and store count, Food Stores/Grocery ranked 2nd, and Health and Fitness came in 3rd.”

Sheehan notes in the Report that developers have come out of “hibernation”: new construction has opened since the close of the study - such as in Chestnut Hill – with more construction underway and scheduled to open this coming year and the next, including major developments in Lynnfield, Waltham, and Burlington.

“We can say with caution that things should feel more normal by the time we write next year’s report,” Sheehan says.

The Report is based on KeyPoint Partners’ GRIID, a powerful source of retail market knowledge that maintains detailed information on virtually every retail property in key New England markets. The Eastern Massachusetts Report includes 189 cities and towns, representing more than 3,500 square miles (44% ofMassachusetts’ land area) and approximately 5.05 million people (76.2% of the state population).

The complete KeyPoint Report can be accessed on the Retail Research Reports page. Click here for information about KeyPoint Partners’ retail research capabilities and the KeyPoint GRIID. Click here to download biographies of our Senior Team including Bob Sheehan, Vice President of Research.

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