Retail vacancy varies widely across Charlotte

By Ely Portillo

Real estate analysis firm Karnes recently published its fourth quarter statistics on vacancy rates, rents and inventory in the Charlotte region. The charts show some interesting facts about how local retail space is distributed and how expensive it can be.

First, the vacancy rate (mouse over the columns for exact percentages and figures). Cabarrus County has the lowest rate locally, while northeast Mecklenburg has the highest.

Next, let's look at inventory. Cabarrus County, with the lowest vacancy rate, also has the single largest retail square footage of a submarket (but much less than all the submarkets in Mecklenburg put together). Uptown, with a fairly high vacancy rate, also has the smallest amount of available inventory.

Uptown, with the smallest inventory, also has the highest average rent, at $31.65 a square foot. That could be a barrier for booster groups like Center City Partners that want to draw more retailers uptown.