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Net retail absorption, or the amount of space occupied in 2013, was 1.1 million square feet or a 22 percent increase compared to 2012, according to Brad Umansky, a real estate broker who owns Rancho Cucamonga-based Progressive Real Estate Partners.

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 02/08/14, 11:11 AM PST | Updated: 1 day ago

As it recovers after the Great Recession, the Inland Empire’s retail sector is also changing.

The vacancy rate of retail shopping space in San Bernardino County in 2013 was about a half percentage point lower than it was in 2012, experts said.

Net retail absorption, or the amount of space occupied in 2013, was 1.1 million square feet — or a 22 percent increase compared to 2012, according to Brad Umansky, a real estate broker who owns Rancho Cucamonga-based Progressive Real Estate Partners.

“The net amount of square footage leased in 2013 was higher in 2012 because fewer businesses closed,” Umansky said.

The rate is a vast improvement over 13 percent shopping center vacancies in 2010 when the market was at its worst during the economic downturn. The height of the market was 5 percent shopping center vacancy in 2006.

Umansky said he expects to see similar growth in the coming year.

“I think we’ll start to see continued expansion with new businesses opening and fewer businesses closing,” he said. “I think 2013 was a good year, and it took us further in the right direction. People are continuously feeling more positive about the future.”

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