This Japanese restaurant near Airport Boulevard has been empty for more than a year. It seems you can't drive two blocks without hitting a "for lease" sign. Mobile is too small to have specific numbers on commercial properties but we can get estimates. Commercial property is divided into three types: retail, office space and industrial. New construction for retail is a good sign. More than 90% of retail space is occupied. Along Airport Boulevard Josh Burmeister with SRS Real Estate Partners says his study shows Mobile's busiest street has retail occupancy of 95.3%.
"Rents are rising across the board, there's been a lack of new construction due to that there's an increase demand of existing space," says Burmeister. Office space is behind retail. At the bottom of the recession there was a 75% occupancy rate, that's been slowly trending upward to approximately 80%.
"It's just a function of the recession you know it started 3 to 4 years ago started to decline I think we have had some increase over the last few months," says Tommy Gleason a Partner at Gleason and Roberds.
Industrial property has seen the slowest growth. Only 75% is occupied. Realtors are optimistic Airbus suppliers could fill some of the void but the demand now isn't what it used to be.
"10 years ago developers would be 50,000 to 60,000 square feet of warehouse just on spec--hoping they would get a tenant, and they usual would nowadays you're not going to do it just because it's so difficult finding a tenant," says Cameron Weavil with the Weavil Company.