Street Cents
5:23 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

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."