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Oahu Retail Summary Market Report Q1 2021

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Retail Market Suffers Record 1Q Occupancy Losses

Oahu’s retail market posted a record loss of nearly 329,000 square feet of occupancy during the first quarter of 2021. This is the largest quarterly loss of occupancy to be recorded in the past twenty years, exceeding even the closure of JCPenney’s at Ala Moana Center and Pearlridge Center in 2003. In just the past quarter, vacancy rates shot up from 6.41% at year-end 2020 to 8.34%, as the pace of store closures mounted. Attempting to survive a full year without regular sales proved to be too difficult for some, as many retailers decided to throw in the towel at the start of the new year.

Regional malls bore the brunt of the pandemic’s wrath recording a loss of 247,445 square feet of occupancy during the past quarter. The combination of government-mandated closures of non-essential businesses and the resultant surge in e-commerce retail sales boosted the challenges faced by many brick and mortar retailers.

For soft goods and apparel retailers, many of whom tenant Oahu’s regional malls, 2020 was a continuous uphill battle, as the combination of forced closures and a lack of visitors throughout the year stunted their sales and inevitably forced many of them to close.

Key Takeaways

  • Occupancy losses surge during 1Q2021
  • Rental rates decline for fifth consecutive quarter
  • Economic indicators begin to show recovery
  • Fed’s American Rescue Plan targets restaurants
  • 2Q2021 retail market recovery projected to begin

Retail Stats


Oahu Retail Summary Market Report Q1 2021

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Mike Hamasu

Research & Consulting Director

Hawaii - Honolulu

Michael brings to Colliers Monroe Friedlander, Inc. over 25 years of marketing and marketing research experience. Michael has directed research efforts at commercial brokerages with a focus on providing information to assist in strategic decision making for real estate investors and brokerage clientele. This effort reported on nearly 600 million square feet of commercial/industrial properties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Having been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Real Estate Forum and Commercial Property News as well as other regional publications, Michael has been recognized for his detailed analysis of the commercial real estate marketplace and has  become the recognized source for commercial real estate trend analysis and forecasts for Hawaii’s marketplace.

In addition to managing the primary and secondary research efforts in the collection of commercial office, retail and industrial market information and statistics, Michael established the company’s real estate consulting division. Utilizing market factors such as: vacancy rates, absorption, net effective rents, and sales comparables, this consulting unit is able to advise developers, investors, property owners, and tenants on current and projected market trends.

Whitney Cressman Limited — Commercial Real Estate Marketing Research Director
Directed brokerage, internal research efforts, and generated real estate consulting assignments at a busy boutique firm in San Francisco Bay area. Served as the principal liaison to press and media. Analyzed office, retail, and development site criteria for market demand and feasibility.

Cushman & Wakefield — Commercial Real Estate Research Services Manager
Oversaw the compilation of market analytics for 600 million square foot commercial and industrial markets throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Recognized nationally and regionally for innovative data management and analysis. Selected to serve on a national career development board for research services. Directed research staff of 12 in five Bay area markets.
Identified by brokers as a manager achieving service excellence.

• Development Feasibility Analysis
• Market Demand and Absorption Report
• Broker Opinion of Value 
• Highest and Best Use Studies
• Real Estate Portfolio Analysis
• Strategic Positioning Study
• Market Rent and Vacancy Forecasts

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