Lincoln commercial real estate market mostly continues to struggle | Local Business News



The fresh thyme market on 52nd and O. Streets closed last fall after less than five years of activity.


FRANCIS GARDLER, Journal Star File Photo

Two sectors of Lincoln’s commercial real estate industry continue to struggle while a third is in the best shape ever.

A report released earlier this month by NAI FMA Realty showed that Lincoln’s retail market, which had been in its worst shape for nearly a decade, remained stable while the office market continued to deteriorate.

The vacancy rate in retail was 7.1% at the end of December, just like at the end of June, but rose from 6.6% at the end of 2019. It is also the highest since the end of 2011.

First National to close two stores in downtown Lincoln

Two other major retailers closed locations in Lincoln in the second half of last year. Bed Bath & Beyond closed its 25,000 square foot store in North Lincoln, and Fresh Thyme Market closed its 30,000 square foot store on 52nd and O. Streets.

A number of smaller national retailers also closed locations, including Catherines, Justice, Lane Bryant, and Jos. A bank.

There were a few small wins, however.

Large mall planned in Lincoln near North Star High School

Omaha-based Wine, Beer and Spirits moved into the 30,000-square-foot former Toys ‘R’ Us building at 5220 N. 27th St. in December. Several small regional and local retailers moved to the Gateway Mall in the fall. Party City also opened a 10,000 square foot store in the SouthPointe Pavilions.

Overall, the city center was hardest hit. Jared Froehlich, NAI FMA sales representative, said in a video that the region has been hit by a “mass exodus” of consumers and office workers who worked from home and many University of Nebraska-Lincoln students taking online courses was.