Overall, the past few years have shown increasing occupancy throughout Oklahoma City. Increasing population, purchasing power, and total retail sales have resulted in constricted vacancy within existing centers, as well as expanded growth throughout the area.
The negative absorption that occurred in H2 2017 can be attributed to two major retail closures, both in Oklahoma County. The 373,000-sq.-ft. Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, and 140,000-sq.-ft. Sears on Reno Avenue both closed this fall, accounting for 90% of the total net absorption. Removing these items would result in flat absorption for the year.
CBRE Econometric Advisors forecasts Oklahoma retail sales volume to reach $16.1 billion in 2018, a 4.3% increase from 2017. Similar sales growth is projected to continue over the next five years at an annual rate of 3.8%, in line with the U.S. average.
Renovations have begun to update the 1931 Art Deco tower into a housing, hotel, and retail destination. Local developers Gary Brooks and Charlie Nichols bought the 1 million-sq.-ft. former bank and office building in January 2017 with plans for two food and beverage outlets, two bars, two restaurants, a 150-room hotel, and 200 apartments.