DALLAS-Retail construction figures in 2009 hung at 2.9 million square feet, representing the lowest total of the decade. Area experts tell GlobeSt.com that 2010 will see even less spilling out of the pipeline, as retailers continue better inventory management, and capital for projects remains difficult to obtain.

Figures presented at the Weitzman Group’s 20th Annual Shopping Center Survey and Forecast on Jan. 19 showed 179 million square feet of retail sprawled across 41 submarkets and an area-wide occupancy of 86.4%, down from 2008′s occupancy of 87.6%. Unanchored neighborhood strip centers ended up at 82.2%, down from 83.3% while grocery-anchored centers were at 85.2%, down from 86.7% at YE 2009. Power centers held their own at just over 90.6% (down from 92.1% from the end of 2008), while mixed-use centers took a hit, showing a YE total of 86.6% versus the 91.3% shown at the end of 2008.

But the intriguing figure involves the new space coming on line. Though close to 3 million square feet delivered might seem a great deal, compared to the 8.8 million square feet that came on line in 2000, the current total is almost a drop in the bucket. It’s also less than the 4.7 million square foot delivered in 2008.

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