F’ville’s commercial properties rebound

In terms of commercial vacancies, Fayetteville will end the year in the best shape it has been in for the past five years. The commercial vacancy rate in 2009 was a whopping 25 percent while that rate today has decreased to 14.39 percent.

It was in 2009 during the Great Recession that Fayetteville recorded a 25 percent vacancy rate in commercial spaces and a 30 percent vacancy rate in office spaces. Those numbers began to fall as the local economy began to slowly experience a recovery.

Below, left, Togwatee Village retail center across from Piedmont Fayette Hospital on Fayetteville’s west side. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Nearly two years ago, in the first quarter of 2012, the overall commercial vacancy rate stood at 18.09 percent. It was a time when retail vacancies were 15.9 percent, office vacancies were 22.6 percent, industrial vacancies were reported at 11 percent and banking vacancies were 14.6 percent.

Perhaps the largest drop in vacancies came in office space. The 30 percent rate in 2009 decreased to 22.6 percent during the first quarter of 2012 and fell to 19.1 percent by the first quarter of 2013. The decrease in office space vacancies continued and stands at 16.71 percent today.

Retail vacancies also saw a marked decrease during the past two years. The retail vacancy rate in the first quarter of 2012 was 15.9 percent, though by the fourth quarter the rate had fallen to 12 percent. That percentage held during the first half of 2013 then saw a decline to the current rate of 9.86 percent.

Banking vacancies during the past two years held steady at 14.6 percent until the second quarter of 2013 when that number dropped slightly to 14.42 percent. It was in the third quarter when the numbers improved significantly and banking vacancies dropped to 9.16 percent.

The least improvement came in industrial vacancies. Fayetteville began 2012 with an 11 percent vacancy rate and by the end of 2013 that rate had decreased slightly to 10 percent.

The recent opening of three restaurants has also attracted attention. Those include Truett’s Luau at the Waterfall commercial development on Ga. Highway 54 and Grady Avenue, Twisted Taco in the downtown area and Panera Bread on Ga. Highway 85 North near the Fayette Pavilion.