New Apartments Filling Up While Retail Space Below Sits Empty
Apartments in the Seattle area are in high demand, but the retail space in many of the new mixed-use complexes are not filling up as fast.
Local appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that there's a surplus of retail space and that's keeping the "for lease" signs up longer on vacant store-front windows.
City and zoning regulations are requiring this retail space in new apartment construction, says Hagar.
"Mercer Island is a good example of this," he says. " There are lots of retail vacancies. You do get to a point where you can saturate an area with too much retail space."
Hagar says in one apartment building on Mercer Island, the city has required that the retail space be a restaurant.
"That has made it tough," he says. "There are many restaurants nearby. As a result, the space has sat empty for years."