Commercial Real Estate & Business News – December 29, 2017

The retail industry is hoping that two months of some of the highest sales in five or six years will carry into 2018 and expunge the bitter aftertaste of record retail bankruptcies and nearly 7,700 store closures in 2017. Retail employment heading into the Christmas shopping season grew 26%, the highest total since 2012, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. And MasterCard reported that holiday sales increased 4.9% this year…»

Sales activity was, for the most part, lackluster in 2017. Pricing for most assets remained stubbornly high while, in other cases like retail, cost wasn’t an issue for buyers. Yet there are signs these trends are shifting, positioning some assets for more activity in 2018. Yes, there is activity in retail-even by malls. For all the woes that the sector has experienced this year, when all is said and done US retailers will have opened some 4,100 more stores than they will have closed in 2017 …»

Arizona-based Desert Viking Development is the developer behind The Blocks of Roosevelt Row, an adaptive reuse project of three bungalow-style homes, the Flowers building and construction of a new three-story commercial building on the corner of Fifth and Roosevelt streets in Downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Arts District. …»

Walk into Kroger’s first standalone restaurant in Union, Ky., and you would have no idea it’s owned by a grocer. “The vast majority of people who come in here, if they haven’t read about it, think this is a separate business,” Kitchen 1883 general manager Jay Denham told me. “A lot of them ask if I’m the owner.” Kitchen 1883 – it’s named after the year Barney Kroger founded his namesake grocery company in downtown Cincinnati…»

Steady investor demand has kept restaurant net lease cap rates in the low range during 2017. In the casual dining net lease sector, quick service restaurants (QSRs) are winning, even if by a photo finish. Cap rates in the sector averaged 6.11 percent in the third quarter of 2017, tightening by just 8 basis points from 6.19 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to research from Northbrook, Ill.-based net lease brokerage firm The Boulder Group. Within that range, plenty of differentiation was happening…»