Rents On The Rise In College Station as Local Store Announces Closure

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COLLEGE STATION - College Station retail space is still in high demand and it's getting more expensive to do business.

One local store is closing its doors after new owners weren't able to reach an agreement on their lease.

News 3 takes a look at the current state of retail real estate.

Hobbytown College Station will be closing down on Halloween.

The owner tells us they planned to sell the business, but the buyer backed out after finding out rent would have doubled.

In July, Hastings Entertainment also announced they were closing their College Station store after deciding not to renew their lease.

They'll keep their Bryan store open.

Casey Oldham is an expert on Commercial Real Estate with Oldham Goodwin Group and says rents going up shouldn't be surprising.

"It's a drastic difference in that where we were five years ago I mean at the end of the day we were in a recession and you didn't see any rent growth, in fact you saw the opposite of that, and so I think we're just coming into some equilibrium where we should be in the marketplace. I think it's a healthy place and I expect a lot of great things to happen," said Oldham, who is CEO and Chairman of Oldham Goodwin.

Just a short drive down Texas Avenue, new businesses are coming into Northpoint Crossing including the World of Beer, a clothing store and coffee shop, but enough vacancies remain that developers considered converting retail space to apartments.

Next door Texas A&M's Century Square is under construction with plans for a Studio Movie Grill, retail, restaurants, and hotel. They are still in the process of leasing space.

Casey Oldham told us he doesn't see a shortage of available retail space right now but one of the reasons why rents are going up is because the costs of doing business is rising.

"Property taxes have gone up, utilities have gone up, cost construction has skyrocketed and so those have all played into the fact that you know I think landlords are just trying to maintain their margins," he said.

Construction on Texas A&M's Century Square should be finished by summer.

Northpoint Crossing did pull that request to the City of College Station to allow them to turn some of their vacant retail space into more residential units.

They plan to give the spaces more time to lease.