Kansas City Retail Investment Forecast
Job Creation and Residential Expansion in Johnson County Elicit Vendor Expansions and Buyer Activity
Metro vacancy poised to reach 15-year low. Kansas City's retail sector enters 2022 on solid footing, following a 12-month span when sparse supply additions coincided with a notable improvement in leasing activity. The resulting net absorption of 1.5 million square feet last year lowered metro vacancy 110 basis points below its trailing 10-year average. Vendor demand has been most pronounced in the Kansas portion of the market, highlighted by activity in Wyandotte and Johnson counties. The latter locale represents the epicenter of apartment development and higher-paying job creation in the metro, which is facilitating retailer expansions, specifically in Overland Park and cities adjacent. Recent office leases by TreviPay, Industrial Accessories and Optiv, alongside the potential establishment of a NetPMD headquarters this year, indicate an imminent boost in well-paying jobs. The increase in consumer spending and retailer demand that is likely to follow could compress vacancy in Johnson County during 2022, a boon for Kansas City's overall retail availability, as the area is home to one-fourth of the market's inventory.