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March 21, 2014

Shopworn: Region's apartment boom sparks ideas on how to fill all that empty retail space

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

Filling up the retail spaces at the base of the new apartment buildings sprouting in the region is one of the most vexing challenges developers face. Frustration with the empty storefronts is spurring new thinking.

One Bellevue developer, for example, has taken a radical step: putting housing into the otherwise-lifeless commercial spots.

Other area developers, meanwhile, are capitalizing on the current consumer craze for all things local. Instead of just trying to fill commercial spaces any way they can, they're offering financial incentives to lure homegrown shops that can serve as bait to attract renters to the apartments upstairs.

Either way, getting viable long-term commercial tenants could prove a heightened challenge with more than 37,000 apartment units expected to open in the region over the next four years, according to estimates from commercial real estate company Kidder Mathews.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal.

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