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Houston Retail Demands A Higher Standard Of Development

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Houston retail is riding a historic wave. That doesn't mean the market is without issue, though. Houston retail queen Evergreen Commercial Realty president Lilly Golden shared what she thinks the market's biggest challenges are. Hear more from Lilly and our panel of experts at Bisnow's Houston Retail Wave event on Oct. 13. 

Lilly Golden

Lilly says naming the biggest challenge for a tenant rep is easy: finding space. By the time a new retail development opens, it's likely already over 80% leased. If you want space, you have to have your tenant already in before it opens.  

Valley Ranch
Valley Ranch

The strong demand coupled with the continued rise of internet retailers has driven the standard of retail development higher. Lilly says developers are now having to work as hard as tenants when thinking about the space they want to create. It's all about creating synergy to get customers in the store. Having the right anchors is crucial, but the idea of the "right" anchor is changing. (Example: a football stadium anchor in Valley Ranch, pictured.)

Houston retail strip center

In today’s market, Lilly sees entertainment, restaurants and fitness centers as hot anchors in addition to the traditional anchors: grocers, big discounters and department stores. Apparel and big-box retailers have been through the ringer competing against online retailers. Entertainment, like the new Pinstripes at Kirby Collection, drives increased foot traffic to the surrounding stores as patrons wait for their bowling lane. Fitness centers have also proven to be effective anchors thanks to the frequency with which they're visited. Lilly has seen fitness centers have fantastic synergy with beauty salons/spas as well as quick-serve restaurants.

All in all, retail development can no longer afford to be an afterthought. Developers, listing agents and tenant reps are changing the game and raising the bar in their attempt to meet demand while staying competitive. Learn more this Thursday!