Oakland Retail Market Report
Retail Space Demand Ramps Up as Construction
Activity Falls to a 15-Year Low in the East Bay
Robust hiring attracts retailers. Economic conditions in the East Bay have improved significantly, which has benefited retail fundamentals in the metro. Robust job growth sliced 310 basis points off unemployment during the trailing 12-month period ending in August, lowering the rate to 2.9 percent. The strength of the labor market, coupled with pent-up consumer demand following pandemic lockdowns, led to a rise in retail spending, and leasing activity has ramped up in response. Annual net absorption returned to positive territory entering the second half of 2022 for the first time since the onset of the health crisis. Retailers are actively taking space off the market in neighborhoods along the 880 Corridor and Highway 4, as these locales have recorded strong household formation in recent quarters. Restaurants, discount stores and experiential retailers have been actively leasing space in these submarkets as of late.