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Some of CT’s popular downtowns seeing sustained retail boom

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When downtown retailers open on Black Friday in Connecticut, there’s one small subset of “shoppers” who are finding a meager amount of merchandise.rextension-oriented chain We are now aiming to open stores in the most popular town centres, where there are far fewer stores.

Commercial real estate websites LoopNet and Crexi.com list nearly 600 retail and restaurant listings across Connecticut with vacancies, with multiple listings nearly double the actual number of stores. Some have suites available. The National Retail Federation counted about 44,000 retailers statewide in its last report.

But if you dig into the data, it’s highly unlikely that there will be new stores or restaurants in Connecticut’s many downtown retail districts. Also, few retailers are letting their leases expire for the holiday season, and many are extending their downtown operations. If Shoppers Show Power This Year As many analysts expect, higher prices could put pressure on actual spending.

of Greenwich shopping mecca, as tracked by LoopNet, only one space on Greenwich Avenue has been on the market since Labor Day. At the other end of the state, in Mystic Village, there’s no empty space in the touristy walking district. And in other areas such as Westport, Kent and West Hartford, retail districts are nearly full.

“Downtown experiential retail is making a comeback,” said Sean Cahill, managing director of real estate brokerage Avison Young’s Norwalk office. It’s an area with barriers,” he said. “We’re also seeing more restaurants, more health and wellness, salon services, and certain boutiques, but not mall-type tenants.”

As everywhere, the crunch is especially pronounced in Darien. Early stages of the large Corbin district Downtown redevelopment progresses vertically, Darien Commons Nearing Completion Across from Metro North Noroton Heights station. Along Post Road and side streets, about half a mile from the Darien Sports Shop to Starbucks, almost all street level stores will be occupied the night before Black Friday.

Only 1 in 15 stores is open in downtown Westport, centered on Main Street. And while Greenwich Avenue boasts high occupancy rates, some prominent stores have top prices, such as the ‘Chateau’ at the top of Greenwich Avenue, where Daxiana had a bedding store. And the former United Bank branch at the bottom of The Avenue, where the landlord wants $100 per square foot.

Especially in western Connecticut, cities and towns saw booming real estate market We have brought in many newcomers from New York and elsewhere. Last year’s delivery delays, combined with some retailers starting to tighten return policies on deliveries, have seen stores dwindle from local shoppers eager to explore both familiar and new stores. We are experiencing the second wind of the Amazon era.

The question is whether it will be sustainable, whether landlords will start raising leases to create chains, or whether would-be store owners will find parking in limited Connecticut towns, especially downtown. So whether you reconsider expanding your business as it may deter some shoppers during the busiest times of the year.

Commercial brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield reported that US shopping center vacancy rates fell to 5.9% in the third quarter.

Connor Flynn, CEO of Kimco Realty, which owns over 500 retail centers in Branford, Farmington, Hampden, Newtown, North Haven and Wilton, said: Nationwide. “In many ways, due to the depth and breadth of retailer demand and the scarcity of supply, this may be the best leasing environment we have seen to date.”

[email protected]; @casoulman

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