[caption id="attachment_19248" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Annie Jabuka"][/caption]

The Napa County retail shopping centers market ended 2009 with a vacancy of 3.9 percent, a slim decrease compared with 4.0 percent in 2008.

The average asking rental rate was $44.11 per square foot NNN, an increase from $37.48 the year before. While downtown Napa continues to struggle with vacant storefronts in Napa Town Center and along First Street, there have been positive announcements including Kohl’s backfilling the former 60,000-square-foot Mervyn’s in September 2009 at Napa Town Center.

Channel Lumber’s development, The Riverfront, also signed deals with Morimoto Restaurant, Fish Story Restaurant, Napa River Velo Biker Store, Tyler Florence Rotisserie and Tyler Florence Shop.

Napa Square signed two restaurant deals: Norman Rose Tavern at 3,800 square feet is now open, and Oenotri Restaurant is said to debut soon. CVS opened its new 15,600-square-foot pharmacy and drive thru at South Coombs and Imola.

Plans are still under way for a proposed theater adjacent to South Napa Marketplace.

Napa Junction in American Canyon signed deals with Subway, 32 Dental and Auto Zone.

The Solano County retail shopping centers market vacancy pushed into double-digits as it closed 2009 at 12.3 percent, compared with 7.2 percent at year-end 2008. The average asking rental rate was $24.29, a difference of $0.20 from last year. Although vacancy plagued most of the shopping centers in the county, a number of new retailers moved in to backfill closed stores.

In Vallejo, Bed Bath & Beyond leased the 35,011-square-foot Linens N Things at Centro Property’s Gateway Plaza. Dollar Tree opened its second store in Vallejo Corners. Harbor Freight opened at Solano 80 Center. Lowe's closed escrow on the Ford dealership property in northeast Vallejo. Vallejo’s new Vargas Mexican Market was built at the corner of Highway 29 and Mini Drive.

In Fairfield, Orchard Supply leased 43,896 square feet at Fairfield Corners, and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant leased 6,800 square feet at Westfield’s Solano Mall. Westfield also has retained the two-level 89,223-square-foot Mervyn's store in the mall.

Burlington Coat Factory opened in the former Mervyn's in Vacaville.