Mixed-Use Developments Address Vacancy Concerns in Grand Rapids' Retail & Office Markets

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Colliers International | West Michigan Q2 Market Trends reveals impact of desired urban-living landscape on local businesses and retailers

Tanger Outlets Byron Center

The introduction of mixed-use developments to the West Michigan marketplace, particularly those within the downtown Grand Rapids CBD, are addressing a wide array of concerns as demand continues to increase and available space becomes more limited.

Colliers International | West Michigan (Colliers) research specialists report rising rental rates, longer lease terms and fewer concessions in both the office and retail markets as the major theme in its second quarter market trends. As inventory for both specialty groups continues to decrease, construction of mixed-use buildings such as Arena Place, Twelve Weston and Fulton Place present creative solutions to growing vacancy scarcity in the Central Business District (CBD).

“The introduction of mixed-use developments to the West Michigan marketplace, particularly those within the downtown Grand Rapids CBD, are addressing a wide array of concerns as demand continues to increase and available space becomes more limited,” said Mark Ansara, retail advisor for Colliers. “With the appeal of an urban-living landscape growing, providing space to incorporate a retail component will only help attract residents and tenants to vertical spacing.”

Location and functionality are driving office space decision-making, with price point becoming secondary to talent acquisition and retention. Ranked the number two city for finding a job by Forbes during the second quarter, the re-evaluation of what truly matters most when creating an office space is a more important factor than in previous years. Flexibility and a transitional environment have become paramount as those multitasking in collaborative environments desire reduced distractions.

“Trends in the way people work will always change,” explained David Wiener, principal and office advisor for Colliers. “The shift we are currently seeing in the marketplace is adaptability – not of the employee, but of the employer. Companies are acknowledging that different individuals thrive in different environments. Instead of pigeon-holing everyone into a cubicle, companies want a space that can offer everything – collaboration, independence and all that exists between.”

Outside the CBD, redevelopment and rental activity is also on the rise for both office and retail.

Office

  • After sitting idle in recent years, the 516,305-square-foot Steelcase Pyramid building was purchased by a Nevada investor and put back on the market as competitive inventory; suburban vacancy rose to 22.9 percent in response (19.7 percent without).
  • East Paris corridor leads suburban market with 89.5 percent occupancy.
  • Heritage Pointe campus expanding with three new buildings totaling approximately 80,000 square feet.

Retail

  • Popular retail brands including Dave & Busters, Trader Joe’s and Leo’s Coney Island make their first entrance to the West Michigan market.
  • Tanger Outlet completion of July 31 will bring 80 stores and nearly 1,000 jobs to the Byron Center area.
  • Westshore Mall announced de-malling plans modeled after those at The Shops at Centerpoint and entrepreneur-focused contest that will give one business owner their own storefront in addition to $10,000+ in media and marketing support.

For further information about Colliers International | West Michigan, please refer to: http://www.colliers.com/en-us/westmichigan.

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About Colliers International | West Michigan
Colliers International | West Michigan is a privately-owned commercial real estate and property management services firm with specialties in office, retail, industrial and investment properties. Founded in 1995, the company comprises three offices and 63 professionals.

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