CALGARY — Calgary’s low retail vacancy rate, combined with continued strong consumer spending, has created a positive environment for new developments.
One of those is Strategic Group’s 20/20 project in Mission which will add about 20,000 square feet of retail space to the market by 2013.
“With retail vacancy rates as low as two per cent, and one of the fastest growing economies in the country, Calgary continues to attract strong interest from Canadian and American businesses who want to sell to the Calgary consumer,” said Ellisa Asaria, retail leasing associate with the Strategic Group. “In addition, because of Calgary’s high growth rate and consistently strong retail sales, many national and eastern franchises are looking to enter the Calgary market.
“We expect continued strength in the Calgary retail market as well as very low vacancy rates.”
The 20/20 project on 4th Street S.W., which is a 140,000-square-foot development with five floors of office space, is expected to be home to several unique retail stores and will be anchored by a restaurant and a financial institution.
According to the spring Colliers International retail report, the demand for new retail space in Calgary continues at a feverish pace as 24 projects, comprising 8.3 million square feet are either in the planning, permitting or construction stage.
Calgary and Alberta retail sales have been strong this year. In July, Alberta retail sales reached just over $5.7 billion with the highest year-over-year growth rate in the country.
According to Statistics Canada, retail sales in the province rose by 9.2 per cent from July 2011. They were also up 1.4 per cent from the previous month.
Also, KubasPrimedia forecasts retail sales in the Calgary region will surpass $28 billion annually by next year.
The Retail Sales Outlook Canada Q3 2012 report forecasts sales in the Calgary census metropolitan area to jump by 8.9 per cent this year to $26.3 billion and another 8.5 per cent hike in 2013 to $28.6 billion.
In Alberta, the report is forecasting sales to increase by 8.6 per cent this year to $69.5 billion and by another 8.2 per cent in 2013 to $75.2 billion.
In 2011, the Calgary CMA saw annual retail sales growth of 7.2 per cent while Alberta experienced 6.9 per cent growth.