More than 5.7 million square feet of retail space opened last year, the most the area has seen in five years. That is more than 27 square feet for every resident, one of the highest ratios in the country.

The jump in construction outpaced net leasing, which totaled 3.4 million square feet last year, but retail demand was still up about 35 percent from 2005. Much of the new shopping is in north Dallas, Lewisville–Flower Mound, Plano and northeast Tarrant County.

Weitzman Group, which compiled the statistics, predicts 2007 will be a slower year for retail building.

“Construction costs were up about 10 percent in 2006, and we expect the same this year,” said Herbert Weitzman, president of the local retail brokerage company. “I would be more conservative going into 2008.”

Source: Dallas Morning News