KentuckyRetail A milestone in the Louisville retail sector: positive net absorption Dan Rafter August 8, 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share via email Just how strong is the Louisville commercial real estate market today? According to the latest research from CBRE, Louisville recorded positive absorption in the retail sector in the first half of the year for the first time since 2015. That’s a good sign. Retail across the country faces challenges. In many markets, it’s rare to see positive net absorption as big-name retailers continue to close. CBRE, though, reported that the Louisville retail market saw 202,370 square feet of positive absorption in the first of 2018. CBRE pointed to the expansion efforts by local grocers as a big catalyst for this absorption. “We experienced strong activity in the first half of the year, especially in the grocery and big box categories,” said Robert Schwartz, senior vice president with CBRE, in a written statement. “We are seeing new retailers enter the market. That is always a positive sign.” New retailers in the Louisville area include Round1 Bowling and Amusement, which leased a space formerly occupied by Macy’s in the Jefferson Mall. Furniture Fair and discount retailer Gabe’s also moved into the Louisville market. The grocery market, though, represented the biggest mover in the sector. Three new Kroger Marketplaces added 229,000 square feet to the market. Big box providers such as Lowe’s and Total Wine were also active with new leases. And a new Topgolf entertainment center might enter the market, too. Topgolf plans to open at the former Sears store in the Oxmoor Mall for its first Louisville location. If the project is eventually approved, the Topgolf store will occupy 65,000 square feet. The retail sector’s availability rate in Louisville dropped to 7.1 percent, CBRE reported. The region’s Southern Indiana submarket was an especially strong performer. It posted the greatest amount of net absorption with 176,932 square feet.