Retail Commercial Real Estate Declines, Discounters Faring Better - Housing Tracker

by: Judy Weil

Retail Commercial Real Estate and Retail REITs

Prime Retail Announces New Outlet Center, Updates on Two Others. “Outlet retail center owner/developer, Prime Retail, is developing a new outlet center in Holly Springs, GA. Prime Outlets - Holly Springs will be 450,000-sf and is projected to open in 2010. Located about 30 miles north of Atlanta just off I-575 in Cherokee County, the outlet center will house 120 stores. Prime said the $120 million project is justified by Atlanta's strong population growth and "need" for a new outlet shopping destination.” (CoStar Group, May 20th)

Tallahassee Commercial Real Estate: Vacancies On The Rise. “Francis Rentz, an associate of Tallahassee's SouthLand Commercial: Although commercial real estate agents continue to call the area market "slightly better than average," vacancy rates are increasing. All five commercial property categories — land, industrial, apartments, retail and office — are seeing vacancies. In the last year, office vacancies have increased from 7% to 11% and retail from 6% to 10%. The result is a buyer's market. Lessees are beginning to "trade rents" for lower rates; however, so far the lease savings have been on the order of a modest $5/sf, Rentz said.” (, May 20th)

Potomac Mills Sees Current Expansion as Model. Woodbridge, Virginia: “Potomac Mills will be adding 50,000-sf of new restaurant and retail space, along with the development of a Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center in existing retail space, over the next three years. The expansion, which includes a redesigned main entrance, will begin on the south side of the sprawling mall at the AMC Theaters and extend towards Costco. Potomac Mills is more than 1.6 million-sf, anchored by 22 stores and contains more than 220 retail shops. Development costs for all stages of the new project will exceed $10 million, Gregg Goodman, EVP, development for the Mills, which owns Potomac Mills.” (Globe St., May 20th)

US Commercial Property Price Fall Most Since 2000-Index. “Moody’s Investor Service: Retail properties are leading a drop in U.S. commercial real estate prices, which in March posted their steepest one-month decline since at least 2000. Prices of retail properties have dropped 5.7% from their peak in 2007, compared with declines of 3.4% for apartment buildings and 2.3% for industrial real estate, respectively. Office property prices are down 2% from their peak… On a monthly basis, commercial property prices fell 2.3% in March... Values were 2.6% below their October 2007 level, but still up 0.9% from a year ago... Slowing U.S. economic growth and the ailing housing market have begun to take their toll on retailers.” (Reuters, May 19th)

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