Article submitted by Larry Dietz, CCIM,  Associate Broker at Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

Written by Jennifer Norbut Commercial Investment Real EstateUpticks in consumer spending and hints at economic improvement are fueling some long-awaited positive momentum in the retail sector. Despite the mild industry buzz, the latest data reports offer the view many property owners see when they look around their markets: Vacancy for strip centers rose to 11.0 percent nationwide in 2Q11 — just 10 basis points below the two-decade high of 11.1 percent vacancy in 1990, according to Reis.

Nowhere is the impact of vacancy felt more than in small retail centers, which rely on the health of not only their tenants, but the surrounding community. However, CCIMs say there is some good news: “All is not lost for neighborhood shopping centers,” according to James J. Dunphy, CCIM, of Dunphy Properties in Tampa, Fla. “There are plenty of service-oriented users and restaurants out there requiring space. If you can provide convenience and service with the traditional attributes of a good location, you will be successful long term.”

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Larry Dietz, an associate broker with Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, has over 30 years of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations experience.  He is a Designee member of the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM) and CCIM Louisiana Chapter; a member of the Commercial Investment Division of the Greater Baton Rouge Board of REALTORS® (CID); as well as an affiliate member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  He is a licensed real estate broker in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).