Retail Q Kentucky

NAI Isaac: 2011 ranked as solid year for Lexington

NAI Isaac's year-end market report brought plenty of good news for commercial real estate professionals in Lexington, Ken. To sum it up: Every commercial market segment in Lexington improved in 2011.

NAI Isaac's year-end market report brought plenty of good news for commercial real estate professionals in Lexington, Ken. To sum it up: Every commercial market segment in Lexington improved in 2011.

The numbers bear this out: According to the report, the suburban office vacancy in Lexington fell 1 percent in 2011, while office vacancies in the Central Business District dropped 1.16 percent.

The news was good on the retail side, too: According to the NAI Isaac report, retail vacancies fell 6.65 percent during 2011. And industrial saw the biggest decline in vacancies in the past year, a solid drop of 15.06 percent.

Lexington has been a fortunate market, though. It certainly suffered during the worst days of the Great Recession; I don't know of any city that didn't. But Lexington didn't seem to suffer quite as much as many other Midwest markets. The Lexington commercial real estate professionals to whom I've spoken always point to the same factors: Lexington features a diverse employment base. It's a fairly conservative market, meaning that it doesn't suffer the high highs or the low lows that more volatile markets do. And Lexington boasts a solid, centralized location.

Add to this the fact that the city has managed to carve out a presence in the still-thriving healthcare market, and you understand why vacancies dropped last year in this city, even in the struggling office segment.