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Retail vacancies rise as spending falls


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POSTED: Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A drop in consumer spending has put the squeeze on Hawaii's retail industry, resulting in higher vacancies and lower rents, according to a retail report released yesterday by commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis.

Retail center vacancy in Hawaii rose 3.1 percent during the second quarter of 2009, CBRE's report said.

“;Vacancy, while still very low, will continue to rise while the market experiences more fallout from the current economic situation,”; the report said.

During the same period, 37,396 square feet of space was lost from the rental pool, CBRE said.

Retail employment dropped to 203,750 in May, a number below the 2004 level, the report said.

As a result, average weighted net asking rents declined to $3.53 from $3.65 per square foot, an amount nearly equal to the prior year, CBRE said.

“;It is difficult for either landlords or tenants to adjust their already very tight budgets, but some have come to common ground to survive the current economic squeeze,”; CBRE's report said.