Retail Development Prospects are Promising
There are no doubt challenges to deal with but, by all reports, the mood at this week’s International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon event was upbeat as developers spoke about real estate prices moderating and the credit crunch showing signs of easing.
Stephen Kieras, senior vice president of development at Taubman, told Shopping Centers Today, “There’s no slowdown. In fact, we’re seeing a lot of opportunities come to us.” Taubman is pursuing projects both domestically and abroad.
“There’s a real sense of opportunity,” said Scott Schroeder, vice president of marketing at Developers Diversified Realty. “We’re excited.”
Attendees at the show, the largest gathering of retail real estate professional in the world, indicated that grocery and drugstore-anchored projects were high on the list because of the continuing demand for merchants that fill consumers’ everyday needs.
While the demand for retail projects remains fairly strong, tight credit has made it difficult recently to get projects done. Even that appears to be easing, according to Adam Raboy, managing director of the Credit Suisse Real Estate Finance and Securitization Group.
Speaking at the capital-markets session entitled “The End of Free Money,” Mr. Raboy said, “The light at the end of the tunnel is no longer an oncoming train,” he said. “By this time next year, the business should be back on its way to normalcy.”
Discussion Questions: What does the upbeat mood of real estate project developers say for the retail industry moving forward? What trends (size of projects, geography, green building, etc.) do you see having the greatest impact on retail real estate development companies going forward?
- Business up at RECon, many execs report – Shopping Centers Today/International Council of Shopping Centers
- RECon panel: End to credit crunch in sight? – Shopping Centers Today/International Council of Shopping Centers