Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2014 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2014. Today we are delving into the 2014 Top Retail Markets to Watch. Not the largest or the most actively contested markets, the 2014 Retail Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that are driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.
TOP RETAIL MARKET TO WATCH : Louisville, Kentucky
The retail hub for a 16-county region, Louisville is slowly recovering from the downturn with employment growth that exceeds Kentucky’s overall performance but lags the national average. The market’s year-end employment rate was 7.5 percent, down from a peak of 10.5 percent in January 2010. In 2013, Cabela’s opened an 88,000 square foot store in the Old Brownsboro Crossing development, alongside Norton Brownsboro Hospital, Lowe’s and Costco. This year, Horizon Group Properties and CBL & Associates will open The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, an outlet mall in Simpsonville on the eastern edge of the Louisville metro. Downtown Louisville welcomed six new retail shops last year and will soon join in the renaissance of mixed-use development taking shape across the nation: a $261 million development in the CBD will bring a 600-room Omni convention hotel, 200 apartments, retail shop space and an upscale grocery. Across the market, healthy absorption at neighborhood retail centers has offset negative absorption in most other retail property types. Completion of new projects in 2013 increased overall vacancy slightly, but the vacancy rate remained in the single digits at year-end, with no major space in the pipeline other than CBL’s outlet project. The slow pace of absorption may not call for large-scale retail construction in the near term, but Louisville offers numerous opportunities to meet existing pockets of unmet demand with infill, value-add plays. Louisville will get a new four-diamond hotel along with a much-anticipated downtown grocery, retail shops and 200 apartments under a $261 million downtown development plan announced by Mayor Greg Fischer and Governor Steve Beshear.
To read more on Louisville, and other top retail markets, download the full version of the Top Retail Markets to Watch report below.
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