Philly Retail Revved Up
Recovery's been a long slog for Philadelphia retail, but even though the economy's chugging along, it's not clear whether the retail market will turn a corner soon. That's why we're excited to host our fourth annual Bisnow Philadelphia Retail Real Estate Summit, at 7:30am tomorrow at the Rittenhouse.
The Goldenberg Group EVP Jeremy Fogel, who will be a speaker, tells us that the economic issues that slowed ground-up retail development in the Philadelphia region haven't changed much recently. "Although many—but certainly not all—of the retailers are stabilizing their balance sheets after a period of very low growth, we aren't seeing a tremendous increase in the primary driver of new construction for the anchor retailers, namely same-store retail sales," he says. Further, many midsized retailers continue to satisfy their growth by absorbing existing vacancy.
Key infill locations or prime development sites will always get attention from the development community, Jeremy adds. Low interest rates continue to help some projects move forward, he says, but the long development cycle for new construction is most impacted by the permanent interest rates developers want to lock in after completion—something increasingly more difficult to forecast at current low levels. Pictured: Goldenberg's planned Hamilton Crossings, a commercial town center project on a 63-acre former industrial mining site in Lower Macungie Township, the fastest-growing municipality in Lehigh County, which will be anchored by Costco and Target.
RioCan REIT's Mark Wampler, who will also be a speaker, tells us that he anticipates stronger retail space absorption and possibly rent growth this year in both the Philadelphia and South Jersey markets. "Our leasing efforts are strong locally and in most of the 11 states we currently have shopping centers in," he explains. Sign up here for the Philadelphia Real Estate Summit tomorrow morning at the Rittenhouse.