U.S. shopping center industry tallies to nearly 108,000 centers

New York City -- The U.S. shopping-center industry grew to approximately 108,000 centers in 2010, according to the latest statistics from CoStar Group. The data, compiled on behalf of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), marked the slowest U.S. industry growth (+0.2% or 259 centers) on record since at least 1971 for which consistent data exist.

Over the first four months of 2011, 50 new centers were tallied by the CoStar Group, which continues to suggest a sluggish annualized rate of growth. Total shopping-center space trends echo a similar pattern with a 0.2% point gain in 2010 to 7.33 billion sq. ft. of gross leasable area.

“This slow industry expansion in the United States is still part of an adjustment process from the aftermath of the 2007-2009 recession,” observed Michael P. Niemira, VP director of research and chief economist for ICSC. “As the economy continues to grow, however, this more constrained expansion will improve the occupancy rates and make for a more profitable industry.