Montana Retail Building Owner Q&A

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Maggie Collister

Montana Retail Building Owner Q&A

Montana retail building owners, get ready for a lighting round of commonly asked questions!

Stay tuned to get the latest in lease rates and retail opportunities with commercial space expert Connor McMahon.

Q: You’re a specialist in retail properties – what does that mean?

A: For the past several years, I’ve helped retailers find the best possible location for their business. That’s everything from Fortune 500 Companies, to franchise businesses like gyms and restaurants down to small boutique spaces.

Q: Who are your clients?

A: Some clients are retailers seeking ownership of their own location, some are local or professional landlords who invest specifically in retail assets, and some are tenants looking to lease. Right now, we’re seeing increased demand in the tenant space, with lots of businesses of every size looking to lease or purchase space around Montana.

Q: What does that mean for Montana retail building ownership?

A: If you have any vacancy at all, now is the time to take it to market. Especially in key locations like downtowns and other retail corridors, there are plenty of tenants looking for space. There are lots of questions owners can ask right now to be sure they are using this aggressive market to their advantage.

Q: What are some of the questions ownership should be asking themselves?

A: I always encourage building owners to think creatively: is there an unused area that could be converted to leasable square footage for storage or for retail use? If you have tenants who are outgrowing their current space, are you working with them to see any vacancy that might come up in the near term? If your leases are ending, have you considered your tenant attraction strategy? I’m always happy to help building owners think about the opportunities ahead.

Q: Finally, let’s talk about lease rates. What should owners be charging tenants?

A: I work closely with building ownership to help land on a competitive lease rate for their property, so there isn’t one rate I can say is right for every owner. I can tell you that in Bozeman, base lease rates are averaging $18.36 per square foot, with that number rising quickly as you get into downtown. For Missoula, we’re seeing a slight dip down to an average of $15.84 per square foot – again, rising in key shopping areas.

Q: For owners who have retail properties outside of Montana’s big markets like Missoula or Bozeman, what should they do?

A: They should call me – they are most likely still in a great market area. We’ve seen steadily increasing interest from retailers looking to get into Montana’s other markets. Great Falls, Helena, Butte, and Kalispell are definitely attractive to businesses looking to expand in the state. Or, land a new location here. These markets may be interesting to retailers because they show the same promise as bigger cities without that bigger price tag.

Matt Mellott
Matt Mellott, CCIM/SIOR

Montana Retail Building Owner Q&A