How Retail is Shifting: A Focus on Malls

How Retail is Shifting: A Focus on Malls

6 years ago 0 0 8442

A recent article in The Atlantic opened with this: “According to Ellen Dunham-Jones, an architect and professor at Georgia Tech, there are about 1,200 enclosed malls in the United States, and about one-third of them are dead or dying.” The good news shared in the article, however, is that 211 malls are being retrofitted to accommodate other uses—some being used as colleges, medical centers, churches and even parks. Re-imagining malls offers hope to what looks like a rather dim mall future. The prominence of e-commerce, the exit of department store anchors and the growing popularity of open-air, mixed-use developments all contribute to the demise of second-tier traditional malls. Department Store Dilemmas Department store chains, like Sears and JCPenney, are closing in second-tier malls and in secondary markets. The big-name retailers are experiencing diminishing store traffic as more people buy online. This is not necessarily bad for the retailer, but online

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How Office Space is Changing

6 years ago 0 1 2982

No matter what business you are in, you snooze, you lose. Concepts, space, location—it’s all dynamic, always moving around. You must keep your finger on the pulse at all times because the market is always in flux. How Office Space Is Changing Office space design is changing rapidly. Here are some examples: Co-working concepts like Roam and WeWork accommodate small business needs. Start-up incubators help young entrepreneurs launch business ideas. Large companies opt for high-density, free-form office space. Office design and needs for law firms shift drastically. Proximity to transit and highway accessibility become more important. Traditional office layouts become obsolete; older office buildings are re-imagined. Going back to urbanist Richard Florida’s idea of the creative class discussed in an earlier blog, the idea to mingle different disciplines in the same space to create synergy is gaining traction. This trend and changes in technology have a profound impact on office

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The PUBLIC-Private Relationship in Real Estate Development

6 years ago 0 0 2905

Zoning and Permitting. Eminent Domain. In the past, that was about the extent of local jurisdictions’ involvement in private development. But my how times have changed. THE WHY There are three main reasons the public involvement in public-private relationship is growing: (1) the emergence of high density-mixed use product; (2) project size; and (3) the need for public financing. Zoning Changes Traditionally, developers would buy the land or property and do whatever they wanted. Government or public involvement in the process was limited to zoning and variance permitting, and, in some cases, exercising its right of eminent domain and contribution to infrastructure. Historically, zoning districts were restricted to one type of use (i.e. office or industrial).There was very little mixed use product. With rare exception, zoning did not take into account putting all uses up in the same place and at the same time. If changes were required, public hearings

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More Questions Than Answers: A 2016 Forecast for Atlanta Commercial Real Estate

6 years ago 0 0 2130

Trouble in China. Falling oil prices. Unsteady stock market. Slow employment growth. Stagnant incomes. That’s a heck of a way to start a new year, isn’t it? In the real estate universe, an abundance of capital and cheap financing have once again pushed prices up to record levels. My friends in the capital markets tell me that investment activity flattened toward the end of last year, as both investors and lenders became more cautious. Do these macro events portend the end of the slow—if resilient—economic recovery? How will Atlanta be affected? So far, Atlanta’s commercial real estate market has performed well during this recovery. Led by multi-family development, occupancy and rental rates have both been ticking up. In 2015, new construction has increased in all sectors. Will this continue in 2016? For my part, I have a few questions (and a few predictions) about how things will shake out over

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Six Wealth-Building Real Estate Resolutions for 2015

7 years ago 0 0 2507

You might be surprised to know how many commercial real estate purchases are driven more by emotional than rational decision making. With the real estate and stock markets being white-hot and returns on conservative alternatives near zero, it is tempting and easy to throw caution to the wind. Beware if you dare. If you’re considering a real estate investment in 2015, here are Six Wealth-Building Real Estate Resolutions to ensure that rational thinking prevails. 1. Neighborhood trends matter. Google earth doesn’t tell the entire story. A site visit is worth the time and expense. Also, engage a professional familiar with the property type and local market to provide an objective assessment that will reveal opportunities and potential problems associated with planned rezoning, future developments, transportation changes, or market trends. 2. Physical condition of property Get an inspection! Hidden conditions can be very costly. A pound of prevention…well, you know. 3.

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