- The Oakland
regional market area experienced good population growth between
1980 and 1990, gaining slightly more than 1,500 persons to be
about 12,200. Since 1990 the population has increased much more
moderately and is at an estimated 12,500 persons. Projections
indicate that the population will hold stable over the next
is a very strong seasonal population in the Oakland area, capitalizing
on the amenities of the surrounding lakes during the summer
season. This population is estimated to be slightly greater
than 4,000 persons, representing nearly a one-third increase
over the year round population. As such, capturing the seasonal
spending potential from these consumers can be very important
to the retailers in the downtown.
- On average,
the median household income in the Oakland market area increased
by about 20.0% from 1990 to 1999 (at $38,000). This is well
above the median household income in Kennebec County, which
is approximately $33,000.
- The Oakland
market area is part of the Waterville Labor Market Area. Unemployment
in the LMA is slightly more than 5.0%, which while a little
high compared to the national average is well below its near
8.0% level of 1995. Retail and service firms predominate the
regional economy, accounting for two-thirds of business establishments
and 70.0% of the employment. Average annual wages in these two
sectors, at $14,000 and $20,000, respectively, are less than
the LMA all-industry average of $23,800.
to the 1990 Census there were 2,050 employees in the Oakland
market area, of which 1,200, or about 60.0%, also lived in the
Oakland market area.(3) As such, capturing sales from these
daily commuters could also benefit businesses in the Oakland
downtown commercial district. Also, as the Oakland FirstPark
project becomes fully developed, an estimated 2,500 additional
employees could become available to support downtown businesses.
- The demand
for a variety of retail goods and services in the Oakland market
area has been estimated to be $48.2 million annually. Of this
demand, approximately $21.6 million is being spent in stores
outside the Oakland area.
These "leaked" sales represent substantial opportunity for existing
and new businesses to the Oakland downtown. Primary among the
leaked sales is nearly $7.5 million in food away from home which
would include sales potential for restaurants, drinking places,
bakeries and ice cream shops to name a few.
There is an estimated $2.4 million in leaked grocery store sales.
While this is likely insufficient to attract another grocer
to Main Street, it does represent significant potential for
expansion (in size and product offerings) for existing grocers.
Other substantial leaked sales, at slightly more than $3.7 million,
include specialty retail such as bookstores and electronics
(video shops, CD stores as examples).
- In the
downtown Oakland study area there are approximately 37 properties,
situated on 15.06 acres of land. There is an estimated 80,000
square feet (SF) of ground floor space, while the estimated
total square footage of development is 126,900.
are 24 commercial properties on 9.85 acres of land with about
65,300 SF of ground floor development, indicating an estimated
average storefront of 2,700 SF. Ground floor vacancy in these
properties is estimated to equate to 8,540 square feet or about
13.0% of the commercial ground floor space in the commercial
commercial square footage is estimated to be 95,400 SF with
an average assessment of $37.73 per SF. Total vacancy in these
properties is estimated to be 19,900 square feet or about 21.0%
of the total commercial inventory.
3. The 1990
Census is the most current data available for commuting patterns.
However, if the ratio of 60.0% of the market area labor force
is also a market area resident then 1999 employment estimates
would indicate that almost 1,400 of the market area workers are
also market area residents.