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New Apartments Filling Up While Retail Space Below Sits Empty

Richard Hagar

Apartments in the Seattle area are in high demand, but the retail space in many of the new mixed-use complexes are not filling up as fast.

Local appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that there's a surplus of retail space and that's keeping the "for lease" signs up longer on vacant store-front windows.

City and zoning regulations are requiring this retail space in new apartment construction, says Hagar.

"Mercer Island is a good example of this," he says. " There are lots of retail vacancies. You do get to a point where you can saturate an area with too much retail space."

Hagar says in one apartment building on Mercer Island, the city has required that the retail space be a restaurant.

"That has made it tough," he says. "There are many restaurants nearby. As a result, the space has sat empty for years."

John Maynard started working in radio in the seventies as a DJ at Seattle’s KJR AM which at the time was the dominant AM station in the Seattle market. After a brief stint as a restaurateur and night club owner, Maynard returned to radio with Robin Erickson, creating the hugely popular “Robin and Maynard Show.” In the more than 20 years under that marquee, Maynard flew with the Blue Angels, piloted the Goodyear Blimp, sang with Donny Osmond and hung out in a Universal Studios bar with Kojak (Telly Savalas).
Richard Hagar's real estate career spans more than 30 years. He currently serves as a real estate investor, real estate agent, appraiser, and an SRA with the Appraisal Institute.