DFW - Retail vacancy has dropped to the lowest level in more than 30 years.
At midyear, 8.4 percent of North Texas shopping and retail space was empty, according to Dallas-based real estate firm the Weitzman Group.
The last time the shopping center market was so tight was in 1984 when 8 percent of the market was vacant, the Dallas-based real estate firm said.
"We are blessed with growth and thousands of new jobs," said Bob Young, Weitzman Group executive managing director. “I really don't see any red flags for DFW's retail market."
At the worst of the recession in 2009, about 14 percent of the local shopping center market was empty.
Since then strong leasing by retailers and restaurants and conservative construction of new retail has kept the retail construction has dropped by about 25 percent since last year.
At midyear about 2 million sf in new and expanded shopping projects is scheduled to open this year. That's down from 2.7 million sf of retail in 2015.
"There's no overbuilding," Young said. "We used to produce five or 6 million sf of new retail on an annual basis. Now we have managed development with committed anchor tenants."
Grocers anchor most of the new shopping centers being built in North Texas.
Kroger has new supermarkets opening or on the way in a dozen DFW shopping centers. And Whole Foods Market has four or five new locations.
Major mixed-use projects account for another big chunk of new retail in the pipeline, including Plano's Legacy West Urban Village, the Waterside project in Irving, and Frisco's Star development which will be the new headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys.