New Vacancy Report: Charlottesville is Filling Retail Space

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Fewer storefronts are sitting empty in the City of Charlottesville.

A new vacancy report shows the available retail space in the city is filling up fast, with more stores and restaurants coming soon.

2017 has been called the retail apocalypse, with thousands of brick and mortar stores closing nationwide.

Charlottesville seems to be bucking that trend with only a handful of open storefronts. The July commercial property vacancy rate is 2.44% citywide.

That's a slight increase from 1.78% in January.

Both of those rates are the lowest in the time since the city started tracking retail vacancy during the recession in 2008.

Charlottesville's Downtown Mall has been at an all-time low of empty storefronts this year.

The vacancy rate on the UVA corner dropped from nearly 5% last July to just 1.6% this month with a new juice shop and Sheetz coming soon.

“With a two percent vacancy rate across the city, I would say pretty much all the areas continue to be good places for retailers to go. We work with a lot of businesses that have trouble finding space in Charlottesville. The inventory for these types of shops has stayed relatively the same,” Jason Ness, with Charlottesville Office of Economic Development.

New retail space is under construction - including on the corner of barracks road and Emmet Street.

Barracks Road Shopping Center is also filling vacant storefronts with a Chopt Salad and B-good restaurant coming soon.This month's low vacancy rate on the Downtown Mall is a major drop from the peak rate during the recession.

9% of storefronts were empty then.

Nationwide, shopping centers are expecting a 9.6% vacancy rate this year.