Marcus & Millichap

Milwaukee Local Retail Report

Second Quarter 2019

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Development Slows to Near Standstill; High Yields And Low Vacancy Draw Investor Interest

Local big-box vacancies draw new tenants with novel ideas to the Milwaukee area. The Milwaukee retail market has grown over the past several years, adding more than 4 million square feet of retail space since 2016. While development in recent years has been strong, 2019 construction is a fraction of typical totals. Simultaneously, the number of households continued to grow, with apartment development spurring consumer spending near these high-growth areas. While retailer demand is expected to grow, it won’t always be for the cookie-cutter retail space from the past. The retail landscape is changing as traditional big-box tenants such as Shopko and Toys R Us have vacated space, opening opportunities for investors willing to redevelop and adapt to the transitioning environment. Gyms/health clubs, food and beverage with entertainment, medical tenants, and growing retail brands like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby and Ross are strong suiters to fill the newly vacated big-box locations in the area.

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