Rethinking Retail in ATX

Rainey Street Apartment Tower Construction

Overall occupancy in the Austin retail market is at 95.6%, down 10 basis points from this time last year. Meanwhile, the triple-net average asking rental rate remains at record highs registering $22.15 per sq. ft., up to $0.66 year-over-year.


Market Highlights

Vacancy is tight. Overall occupancy in the Austin retail market is at 95.6%, down 10 basis points from this time last year. Meanwhile, the triple-net average asking rental rate remains at record highs registering $22.15 per sq. ft., up to $0.66 year-over-year. Occupancy of the 776,000 sq. ft. delivered to the market year-to-date stands at 64.2% and of the 1.3 million sq. ft. currently, under construction, about half of that space is already spoken for. In addition, there have been 1.8 million sq. ft. of leasing activity year-to-date—which is comprised of both new leases and renewals—slightly higher than at this time in 2018.

West Sixth Street and North Lamar Boulevard. The Austin retail center that is home to Waterloo Records and Video and Amy’s Ice Cream has a new owner. 600 Lamar Retail Center was acquired by developer Endeavor Real Estate Group. The 1.1-acre site is located at the northwest corner of West Sixth Street and North Lamar Boulevard and was 100% leased at the time of sale by Roger Joseph of Roger Joseph Developments Inc. and Scott Young of Scott Young Properties. The center is also is home to 24 Diner and Snap Kitchen and sits diagonally opposite to Whole Foods Market’s flagship store and company headquarters.

Jobless rate near historic lows. During the third quarter, the local labor market remained tight with the jobless rate near historic lows. Austin’s unemployment rate was 2.7% in September, unchanged since July 2019. This is lower than both the U.S. (3.5%) and Texas (3.4%) rates. The Austin metro added jobs at a soft annualized rate of 0.5% in the third quarter. By sector, trade, transportation, and utilities led growth (2,800 net jobs or 6.3%), followed by manufacturing (1,400 jobs or 9.2%), and information (300 jobs or 3.3%). Job reductions by sector included construction and mining (loss of 2,400 jobs or -13.3 %), health and private education (loss of 1,770 jobs or -5.5%), and financial activities (loss of 1,000 jobs or -5.8%).