The New Mexico chapter of National Association of Industrial and Office Parks holds monthly luncheon meetings for their members focused on relevant topics to the commercial real estate development community. On June 24th, Accelerated Development Services President, Dave Cheatham, was asked to participate in a panel focused on redevelopment projects at the NAIOP Albuquerque meeting. The overall topic of the luncheon was “New Mexico’s Post-Recession Retail Market: Trends and the Next New Deals”.
John Sedberry of Sedberry & Associates moderated the event which was attended by nearly 200 members. Local members of the brokerage community spoke about the retail market statistics, and two developers discussed redevelopment projects. Randy Ruttenberg of Fairmount Properties joined Dave Cheatham on the Development Panel.
The retail market is a bright spot for Albuquerque. It was reported by Kino James of Base 5 Retail Partners that of the 19 big box vacancies that 15 have been absorbed. New tenants to the market such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Conn’s Appliances, Gordmans and Total Wine & More have all been able to utilize existing vacant spaces in the market. The retail vacancy rate dropped to 7.8% during the first quarter of 2013 with second quarter numbers being released soon.
Accelerated Development Services, along with their partner, Q Real Estate, recently purchased a 143,557 square foot Target shadow-anchored center at Eubank and Interstate 40 on the east side of Albuquerque. Plans are in full-swing to redevelop and remodel the project transforming the mostly-vacant center into a once-again vibrant retail center. The rebranded center has been renamed Market Center Crossing. Cheatham discussed that tenant demand has been brisk for the project as the availability of existing big box space is limited. Additionally, the shopping center is located at an established intersection which is a hub for retailers.
The second panel discussed developing new projects vs. redeveloping existing. Dave Cheatham of Accelerated Development said some “ground-up players” have been interested in locating in the redeveloped Market Center Crossing. “I don’t want to be so crazy to say development’s not coming back because it eventually will come back,” he said. “(But) the market has changed.”