Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Retail Renaissance?

Is it the time for landlords to start panicking about retail? Contrary to popular belief, leasing experts at SRS Real Estate are claiming retail real estate is just as relevant today as it ever has been. Declining retailers are making up majority of the headlines, painting a picture that depicts the death of retail is approaching. But this doesn’t accurately depict what’s happening to the bulk of retailers. Forbes states that there will be 4,000 new store openings in 2017, including brands such as Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Amazon (with Whole Foods). Although these brands have created success through their online retail concept, opening physical stores will help customers by offering services, building community relationships, and solving problems with previous transactions.

According to SRS, the problem isn’t retail as a whole, but instead, the problem is retailers not adapting to current trends. Department stores and big box retailers are facing challenges because many of them are operating with a model that is 10 years old. For retailers to stay relevant, they “have to move fast and stay ahead of the curve,” says Lily Heimburger, vice president in SRS’ Atlanta office. Keeping up trends and adopting different concepts, such as new dining experiences or fitness and therapy centers, is the key to being successful in retail.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Housing Relief for Harvey Victims Still Not Showing Up

It’s been more than a month since Hurricane Harvey blew through the Texan coast, destroying cities and towns, including Houston, Corpus Christi and the smaller Victoria (among others). Still, federal, state and local officials don’t know how or when housing relief will play out. Victoria, specifically, has seen incredible damage: there’s still nowhere for people to seek shelter or temporary housing in the entire county! A couple weeks back, federal and state agencies introduced some new programs that would pay for temporary housing through mobile homes as well as more permanent home repairs, but nothing has helped the Victorian Residents so far (besides the 200 or so families who are living in hotels paid for by FEMA due to unlivable conditions in their homes).

In the past, FEMA has paid for limited repairs caused by natural disasters, but never really aimed towards permanent fixes. After Harvey, several new programs were developed by federal and state officials, including one specifically that will fix apartment buildings and another to repair homes on a more permanent basis. Since the hurricane, FEMA has received 18,500+ applications for financial support and has inspected about 7,500 homes in Victoria County alone. Now the residents are becoming impatient because local government officials still don’t have details around the timeframe when housing relief would become available. Hundreds have been evicted from damaged apartments while others are not financially stable enough to pay for home repairs.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Housing Updates

With over 5,200 mobile home parks in Florida, it’s estimated that about 1 in 5 are in a high-hazard flood zone. In the two counties with the highest rates of coverage – Monroe and Collier – only half the homes are insured. This leaves most mobile home residents, who happen to be on the low-income end of the spectrum, in a pickle with a large amount of damage to their homes. 82% of th….

It’s a realization slowing coming full-circle that the development of accurately-produced housing models (i.e. manufactured homes) are starting to shift from an alternative to an increasingly first-choice approach to construction. Not because offsite construction is trying to displace traditional methods, but to generation additional housing capac…

“Time is money and modular housing construction can save both.” In a time when the need for affordable housing is so dire, providers are looking for new ways to address that problem while also being efficient with time and money. Due to lack of talent and labor force, on-site builders cannot build on the timeline they used to be able to, causing developers to look at modular housing as a possible solut…

Bascom Arizona Ventures has just recently acquired three apartment communities in Tucson & Sierra Vista, Arizona for $70,225,000, or $86,484 per unit. Marcus & Millichap represented both the buyer and the seller. All three communities are equipped with a resort-style swimming pool, spa, 24-hour fitness center, business center, and private garages. Portfolio Manager of Bascom Arizona Ventures, Mark Brotherton, says, “The Southern Arizona portfolio provides us with an exceptional opportunity to acquire another multifamily portfolio in a recovering mar…”

Four motels sitting along the Benson Highway have been sold to investors and converted to apartments for rent. The Owl Lodge, Wagon Wheel Inn, Stagecoach Inn, and Mesa Lodge have a combined 55 units that sold for $1.3 million to Arizona-based private multifamily inves…