Which Niche is 95% Occupied?
Finding available, quality retailÂ in San Antonio is like finding an empty parking spot on the Riverwalk on Saturday night: not impossible, but it takes some creativity. The Retail Connection EVP Nick Altomare tells us San Antonio isn't unique to this dilemma; it exists across all major Texas markets. More often, the solution to the problem is new development, he says. Heavily anchored product is around 5% vacant across San Antonio. The challenge: the disconnect between the new product coming online and current demand expectations. Some new construction is slated, but they're two or three years from delivery. (People have played too much Sim City and forgot that building things actually takes time.)
A good example of getting creative is Panera, Nick tells us. The restaurant chain struggled to find quality endcap locations with a drive-through capability in the desired trade areas. So the company has turned to site acquisition over leasing and ground-up construction of its new restaurants (paired with a raspberry vinegarette). Beyond sandwiches and salads, Nick thinks holiday shopping in San Antonio and South Texas will have modest growth over last year of around 2% to 3%. Nick is packing up the family and heading to the Gaylord Texan resort in the Dallas area to spend the holiday with his wife's family.