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Chicago Anchor Report Reveals Interesting Insights

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CB Richard Ellis' Chicago office put out a new report, Retail Anchor Report- Spring 2010, that provides an illustrative look at the mindset of big-box tenants. The findings are just for Chicago, but I think they do give us a glimpse as to what anchor tenants are probably asking for everywhere else. Ultimately, such tenants are taking advantage of openings in the market to grab spaces at reduced rents. This jibes with what's happened in New York City as well where chains that never had stores in or close to Manhattan now do. Those ranks include Costco, Target, JCPenney and Nordstrom. And, of course, Walmart is sniffing around as well.

The report looked at 48 transactions completed in the past year and found that "the combination of lower rents and a throng of new tenants looking to lock in historically low rates have led to a recent surge in retail anchor leasing."

CB's release on the report found that:

[A]verage asking rents have decreased by 19%, currently standing at $10.12 per square foot. More telling is the average rate for completed anchor transactions, which has ranged from 30% to 70% below the previous tenant's rent. The average net rent of completed anchor leases was $6.52 per square foot overall and $5.67 per square foot for suburban Chicago properties.

Other findings in the report include:

• The total number of retail anchor spaces over 20,000 square feet on the market currently stands at 207, down from 227 last year but still significantly above the 102 reported in 2004 during the last anchor crisis.

• 85% of currently available anchor spaces have been on the market for over a year.

• 28 of the 36 Circuit City spaces that came on the market between late 2008 and early 2009 are still on the market today.

• Only 27 new anchor spaces came on the market in Chicagoland during the past year, as compared to 97 the prior year.

• Retailers new to the market included Savers, Gordmans, Ross Dress for Less, SuitHouse, Forman Mills, Garden Ridge, FAMSA, Shoppers World and Wonder!.

I'm checking to see if CBRE will allow share the report as a Scribd document. If they give the green light, I'll add it below.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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