HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – Retail is a major player in local commercial building permits.

Retail stores accounted for one-third of the year-over-year growth in Houston’s commercial building permits in April.

The total value of retail building permits was $21.2 million for April, four times more than a year ago. Houston has issued $5.3 billion worth of building permits for the 12 months ending in April, a 29.4 percent increase over the previous 12 months.

The overall multitenant retail occupancy rate is approaching 90 percent, the highest in Houston in 20 years.