CHICAGO—Anchor store closings have increased and surpassed openings in Chicago for the first time in three years, according to a study completed by Joe Parrott, a senior vice president with CBRE.

The total number of retail anchor spaces on the market stands at 167, exactly the same as last year, according to the survey. Over the last year, 2.3 million sq. ft. of new anchor store deals were completed, falling shy of the 2.6 million sq. ft. of anchor space that came on to the market.

“Contrary to expectations that we were heading toward a landlords market, it appears that the recovery has stalled,” Parrott said in a statement.

According to the survey, the health club sector leads other categories in leasing. These anchors have gained acceptance from class-A centers due to their daily traffic and new energy they bring to their centers.

There is also a rise in shadow inventory. At the time of lease execution, five to 10 years ago, rents were higher thatn today. In the past, more than 90 percent of tenants would exercise renewal options to lock in rents. Today, however, many tenants are foregoing exercising renewal options in favor of negotiating the lower rental rates of the current market.

Other findings in the report include:

 The total number of retail anchor spaces over 20,000 sq. ft. on the market currently stands at 167, exactly the same as last year but still significantly above the 102 reported in 2004 during the last anchor crisis.

 Negative absorption of 300,000 sq. ft.

 Average market time was 28 months for those spaces leased in the past year and 36 months for those spaces still on the market.

 Average asking rents are decreasing while average rent comparables are increasing.

 Retailers new to the market included PGA Superstore, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, American Freight Furniture, CW Price, Jasmine Galleria, Direct Import Home Décor and Cosmopolitan Marketplace.

 Retailers who did multiple deals include Savers, HH Gregg, Mariano’s Fresh Market, Shoppers World, Binny’s Beverage, JoAnne, Buy Buy Baby and Hobby Lobby.