The retail industry was among the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns, but West Michigan’s commercial real estate sector is showing signs of recovery and creating optimism among experts.
“Retailers are beginning to feel cautiously optimistic about the coming months as we’re seeing signs of a rebound,” Earl Clements, senior vice president at Colliers International’s West Michigan office, said in a statement. “Retailers and restaurants worked hard to adapt during COVID-19, and they continue to do so leading to processes and practices that will likely stick around post-pandemic.”
The first quarter of 2021 showed a 5.1 percent vacancy rate for Grand Rapids retail space, a slight decrease from the previous quarter, according to a recent Colliers market trend report. The vacancy rate could start “creeping back up” slightly as landlords try to recoup rent they had previously abated, according to the report.
Colliers advisers saw tenants active in many segments, including grocery, home goods, furniture and home improvement. More activity is linked to medical-related tenants, fitness and restaurants with and without drive-thrus.