RETAIL – OPTIMISM HIGH IN METRO DETROIT’S RETAIL MARKET
The vacancy rate in Metro Detroit’s retail market in the fourth quarter 2018 was 5.2%, relatively unchanged since the third quarter. Overall, most would consider Metro Detroit’s retail scene to be moving in the right direction and investors and occupiers have taken note and look to Detroit for retail opportunities. In the suburbs, BJ Wholesale announced plans to expand their national footprint in Southeast Michigan with two new stores in Madison Heights and Troy. In Auburn Hills, there was much excitement over the opening of the $12.5-million, newly constructed 65,000 square foot, Top Golf entertainment complex. While in Detroit, the momentum remains strong in our downtown neighborhoods and people are enjoying the energy the area has to offer. In 2018, Detroiters experienced the addition of over 1,200 motorized bikes, a slew of new restaurants, pop up retailers, major retailers such as Plum Market opening space in a smaller format stores, the new Shinola Hotel, and the redevelopment of some of Detroit’s most iconic buildings, currently underway. While much of downtown areas are actively resurging leading to population growth; there is still opportunity to be had in the neighborhoods outside downtown. The resurgence of the city core’s population continues to grow is pushing demand in the multi-family sector and will create opportunities for a variety of retail goods and services in the Detroit Metro. We expect the retail scene to continue to make gains in foreseeable future.