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Canyon vacancies could create new opportunities, panel says

While nearly 176,000 square feet of commercial property became vacant last year in Nampa’s Karcher area, almost 168,000 square feet of new space opened in the Gateway center.

“Those empty big boxes will create the ability for new companies to come to the valley,” said Jeff Needs, of Colliers International in Nampa, during a Feb. 10 Business Breakfast sponsored by the Nampa Chamber of Commerce. “They are vacant, but they are ready to receive companies and new jobs.”

The breakfast forum featured a panel of experts who talked about the declines faced in 2009.

Needs said the vacancy declines felt in the large commercial spaces were offset by the relative stability of the smaller spaces. There are still a lot of smaller spaces, and leases and vacancy rates on those have remained fairly stable, he said. A year-end report from Colliers shows 813,868 square feet of large retail space is available in Canyon County. The Idaho Center area has the highest vacancy rate at 38.3 percent; however, the Karcher area has the most space available at 422,134 (18.8 percent).

Lincoln Hagood, with Colliers, said it remains a leasee’s market in Canyon County, with lease lengths, price concessions and tenant improvements all game for negotiation.

“They’re doing (concessions) just to have people pay the mortgages,” he said. But he added that leasees shouldn’t go into a negotiation expecting to get all three.

Tenants getting a one-year lease should expect some help elsewhere since the owner will certainly be looking at an increase in rates, especially if the market begins to turn around.

In addressing the banking and financial services ends of commercial real estate, Needs said the banks continue to be there for businesses. However, he said, conditions to getting loans on new construction continue to be more stringent than in years past.

Todd Moss, of Colliers, said property for development is still on the market, and Nampa’s sites remain untapped with numerous locations. He said new construction may increase in the coming year to meet the needs of businesses moving into the region.

“We’re seeing land values that we haven’t seen for many years,” he said.

Download a copy of the Colliers 2009 Year-End Real Estate Market Review here.

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