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by Nevin Batiwalla

A new round of market reports from Nashville brokerages shows improvement in the city’s industrial and office sectors, while the retail front continues to lag.

The amount of occupied retail space in the Nashville area declined by 32,759 square feet (otherwise known as negative absorption), according to the second-quarter report from Cassidy Turley. For comparison, Nashville’s occupancy had grown by 531,710 square feet one year ago.

The sector is still recovering from the impact of the May 2010 flood that caused more than $200 million in damage to Opry Mills mall, the area’s second-largest retail center.

“The Nashville retail market continues to ride the waves of the local and national economy,” reads the report. “Lower consumer confidence, high unemployment rates and stagnant wage growth has fueled the recent rise in consumer pessimism. All of these factors have brought concern for the second half of 2011, but experts remain optimistic that Nashville’s diverse economy will keep the retail market strong.”

Retail vacancy dipped to 7 percent, down slightly from the 2010 year-end vacancy of 7.2 percent.

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