Area brokers report swift Q2 commercial leasing activity
July 12, 2012By J. Elias O'Neal
While not as robust as last quarter, second quarter retail leasing activity this year continued to grow throughout the greater Wilmington region.
According to Commercial MLS data collected from the Realtors Commercial Alliance of Southeastern North Carolina, 15 retail transactions were reported in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties – mirroring 2011-second quarter results.
More than 78,000 square feet of retail space were leased to retailers and businesses throughout the region in the second quarter for an average rate of $13.90 per square foot.
Year-to-date, leasing activity has risen 50 percent since the first quarter of the previous year.
Since brokers are not required to record all of their transactions quarterly, the regional Commercial MLS data does not reflect all of the area’s transactions. It does, however, pinpoint parts of the region that are seeing heavy retail leasing activity, along with what property has been leased.
Two shopping centers – Fulton Station, being leased by Team Silivanch of Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners near the intersection of 17th Street and College Road; and the Waterford Business Center, being leased by Wilmington-based Don Harley & Associates along U.S. Highway 17 in Belville – experienced the most retail lease transactions last quarter. Three new retailers called Fulton Station home, and two new businesses opened offices at the Waterford retail and office center.
The largest transaction reflected in the report was by Steve Warwick, principal broker of Wilmington-based Maus Warwick Matthews & Company.
Warwick recently leased 46,000 square feet of retail space to Hobby Lobby in the Hanover Center along Oleander Drive.
Mike Brown, broker with Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial, leased 9,240 square feet of retail space to the Salvation Army for a new store in the former Space Savers location on Floral Parkway.
Overall, Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners – the largest commercial brokerage firm in the region, according to the Greater Wilmington Business Journal 2012 Book of List ranking – secured 73 percent of completed lease transactions, according to the Commercial MLS. Don Harley & Associates followed suit with 13 percent of total closings.