Commercial real estate struggling as economy recovers

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- There are signs pointing towards an economic recovery, but one section of the economy is still struggling to catch up.  Real estate experts said that is why there are so many empty office buildings around town with "for rent or lease" signs hanging on the door.

Blake Sloan with Sloan Realty Group, said small business owners just do not have confidence to expand to bigger buildings in this economy.

"Business owners are hesitant to grow or expand and invest with so much uncertainty with the economy," Sloan said.  "So they're just sitting in silence to see what is going to happen."

Sloan said a main reason offices remain vacant is that the building's managers price themselves too high for buyers.

"The economy is down, confidence is down, but obviously vacancies are up," Sloan added.

Some buildings remain vacant for years, Sloan said.

"A lot of people don't actually reduce price here in our local market and we noticed that a lot of these buildings may sit vacant for two or three or four years," Sloan said.  "They are not making the proper adjustments to come down and meet that demand for some of those small business owners."

Sloan said some other factors that are keeping business owners from expanding include concerns over how much they will have to pay for their employee's health care and just the overall economy as a whole.

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