Commercial Real Estate Market Looking Good, Especially for Retailers

Mar 12, 2014

One local commercial realtor said his portfolio is more than 90 percent occupied, and what's left is "problem units," such as those on the corner of a development. What used to be Ella's on Harvard Avenue north of 31st Street is a corner unit, and it's been vacant for some time.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors gave a positive overview of the area’s commercial real estate today at its 2014 market update.

GBR Properties Vice President of Retail Bob Parker says his portfolio reflects the retail sector leaving the recession behind.  

"We're 90–92 percent occupied. All of the spaces that are available in my centers are the troubled spaces: Corner spaces with no frontage or something around the backs, just weird stuff," Parker said. "So I'm kind of stuck with, perhaps, mistakes made in the development phase of it."

Parker said city councils will need to be flexible with permits if they want to see tenants in older, vacant buildings.

The realtors' association indicated the retail sector of the market is looking strong. There’s healthy competition among Tulsa County’s cities for major retailers, because having those businesses means more sales tax revenue.

Tammy Fate is the City of Tulsa’s retail marketing coordinator. She expects several companies to establish an Oklahoma presence soon.

"A lot of different companies that, maybe are in the Dallas area but they're not in Tulsa yet or Oklahoma, are really starting to take a second look and do site tours up here and really get a pulse on the market," Fate said.

New York-based home store West Elm opens its first Oklahoma location in Utica Square this fall.