The vacancy rate in the Minneapolis-St. Paul retail market increased for the second quarter in a row to 5.7 percent, which is up from year-end 2015’s rate of 4.4 percent. There was 70,545 square feet of negative absorption during the quarter which included Sears closing its store at Eden Prairie Center, K-Mart closing a store in West St. Paul and Office Max closing three stores in Lakeville, Burnsville and Brooklyn Park. Some of that negative absorption was mitigated by strong construction activity in the grocery sector.

Store Closings and Grocery Expansions
Additional store closings include Macy’s and Barnes & Noble in the Minneapolis CBD. Macy’s will be closing its store after an investor purchased the site and plans to redevelop it. Golfsmith, Hancock Fabrics, Old Country Buffet and Rainbow Foods are also closing stores due to bankruptcy or poorly performing locations. Golden Corral is stepping in to fill several Old Country Buffet locations and is also looking to open at additional locations made available when Old Country Buffet declared bankruptcy.