One Washington city could be a hub for retail shopping

Retail shopping could be on the rise in one Washington city.

It didn't quite match the pace seen in the first six months of 2013, but the commercial retail availability rate dropped to 12.2 percent in the third quarter of this year, according to CBRE, the world's largest commercial real estate services firm.

The firm said net absorption rates should remain a bright spot through the second half of 2013, but markets in New York, Tampa and Cleveland showed increases in availability rates in the third quarter.

Markets with improved retail availability rates included Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, Trenton, N.J., and Cincinnati.

One market that expects major growth in the retail sector is West Valley, Wash., where developers expect a rush of big-box retailers to open, according to the Yakima Herald. One particular opening is spurring the thought process behind the retail expansion.

"That area is going to be the next big retail growth, there's no doubt about it," Bill Moultray, co-owner of Moultray Real Estate, told the Yakima Herald. "Wal-Mart has landed, that's a big elephant. They land where they want, and now the rest of the development will follow in time."

The 220,000-square-foot Wal-Mart went up four years ago and has catalyzed interest from developers due to the increased foot traffic it provides. Moultray expects smaller retailers, grocery stores and condos and houses to go up in the area.

Dave McFadden, president of the Yakima County Development Association, said that combining retail with residential in the same development could provide a boost to the retail sector in West Valley, noting those residents typically have higher incomes.

"It's really trying to create a living area than just a shopping center," McFadden said.

Retail in a nearby city
Sean Hawkins, an economic development manager for the nearby city of Yakima, said a retail study shows that Yakima could be a hub for retail stores. However, competition from other cities, such as West Valley, pulls away potential retail clients.

"I think if you talk to the community as a whole, they're leaving this area to shop because our offerings are not meeting their needs, and I think that's where the demand is," Hawkins told the Yakima Herald. "I think there is tremendous possibility out there and I also think it can be done in a way that is very attractive and blend in with the surrounding area."

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