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TRC Blog

June 06 , 2011

Steve Zimmerman:  A report from the front lines of retail

Steve Zimmerman: A report from the front lines of retail

The International Council of Shopping Centers’ recent convention in Las Vegas—attended by nearly 30,000 retail real estate professionals—had the most positive vibe I’ve felt in several years. With 10 consecutive months of improving retail sales and a strengthening stock market, the economy is clearly recovering. In Dallas-Fort Worth we have been fortunate to be ahead of this curve. (We saw it in our own firm with record transaction volume in 2010, and that trend is continuing upward in 2011.) The market’s increased activity can be attributed to several factors: • The local economy has recovered much faster than the rest of the nation, as reflected by DFW being the No. 1 market in the United States for job growth in the past 12 months. • Healthier retail sales encouraged retailers to move off the sidelines in 2010, and they are continuing to actively look for sites in 2011. • Retail centers have stabilized. Their owners—and in some cases new owners—are in a better position to make deals. • Lending has begun to thaw, and centers that offer potential are becoming compelling opportunities for investors. (The Retail Connection’s recent purchase of Village on the Parkway with Lincoln Property Co. and Fidelity Real Estate Group is one such example.) The overall feeling after the ICSC convention is one of cautious optimism. Companies that have solid relationships, influence, and capital will continue to have exceptional opportunities ahead. Steven H. Zimmerman is managing director of the brokerage division at The Retail Connection. Contact him at szimmerman@theretailconnection.net.
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