Triangle Real Estate Prospects Soar

The Triangle continues its meteoric rise as one of the best markets for real estate prospects in the nation. A new study by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers ranked the Triangle No. 2 on its list of markets with the best real estate prospects for 2020. The report ranks top cities across the United States based on factors such as size and growth, along with more complex indicators like economic stability. Another North Carolina city—Charlotte, North Carolina—came in at No. 4 on this list, just behind Nashville, Tennessee. What exactly sets the Triangle apart from nearly 80 other major cities in the country? Let’s take a look.

World-Class Technology Center

The Triangle area’s concentration of world-class, premier educational institutions—the University of North Carolina, Duke University, North Carolina State University and several smaller colleges—coupled with the dominant presence of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) has led to the area’s reputation as a technology powerhouse. With more than 89,000 technology jobs, the Triangle competes directly with Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

Healthy Development Base

The Triangle has also seen a sharp rise in the number of luxury mixed-use developments that have allowed the area’s communities to prioritize developing prime retail and office space. The demand for livable, walkable, mixed-use communities has increased, and developers have flocked to cities like Chapel Hill, Cary and Raleigh to meet the needs of these fast-growing areas. This trend isn’t exclusive to the Triangle: industry is flourishing across the state of North Carolina. Non-residential spending for 2018 totaled $9.3 billion according to figures from the Carolinas Associated General Contractors of America.

Interested in investing in North Carolina commercial real estate? Ground + Space is a leading commercial real estate brokerage firm based in North Carolina that specializes in single-tenant and retail NNN investments. Contact us today to find out more about our current listings or sign up for our mailing list to stay in-the-know on all that North Carolina has to offer.

North Carolina News: August 2019

August was a big month for North Carolina. From major investments by life sciences companies to the arrival of the first Chase bank branch in the state, all eyes are on North Carolina as the state continues to cement its status as one of the top markets in the country.

Pfizer Set to Invest $500 Million in Sanford

North Carolina has long been a leader in the life sciences industry thanks to the state’s partnerships with companies like Pfizer. One of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) currently employs approximately 3,600 North Carolinians at its sites in Chapel Hill, Morrisville and Sanford. In late August 2019, the company announced a $500 million expansion of its Sanford operation. The expansion is expected to bring about 300 new jobs to the Sanford area. The company’s investment will be used to help advance Pfizer’s gene therapy line through the addition of a state-of-the-art gene manufacturing facility.

Pfizer isn’t the only life sciences company to make recent investments in the state. Chicago-based gene therapy company AveXis announced in February 2019 that it would put $60 million into the Durham area, creating 200 new jobs in the process. In April 2019, AskBio—a leading AAV gene therapy company based in the Research Triangle Park—declared a $235 million investment to continue its gene therapy research in the area. In July 2019, Precision BioSciences (NASDAQ: DTIL) made public the company’s intention to make a $26 million investment in the state via a 17,300-square-foot facility located in the Research Triangle Park.

Xerox Picks Cary for Major New Hub

Cary, North Carolina has been selected as the new home of Xerox Corporation’s new “Center of Excellence.” Although the exact location of the hub has not yet been disclosed, the selection of Cary for The Center of Excellence will put Xerox within proximity to the state capitol, the famed Research Triangle Park and three major universities.  North Carolina beat out several other states for the hub, including New York and Connecticut. Xerox currently operates three other facilities of this nature, both in the United States and Canada.

Xerox plans to invest $18.4 million in The Center of Excellence. As part of its investment, Xerox will receive a Job Development Investment Grant from the state that will allow for reimbursements of $12.3 million over a period of 12 years. The new Xerox facility is expected to pump more than $1.7 billion into the statewide economy.

JPMorgan Chase Enters the North Carolina Market

The largest bank in the country by assets, JPMorgan Chase opened the doors to its first Chase bank branch in North Carolina on August 7, 2019. The branch sits at a prominent, visible location along Franklin Street in Chapel Hill close to the heart of the University of North Carolina campus. JPMorgan Chase already serves more than one million customers and local businesses throughout the state through commercial, private and investment banking.

The opening of the Chapel Hill Chase branch signals the company’s larger commitment to expanding the JPMorgan Chase footprint throughout the state. The company expects to add up to 40 branches and 80 ATM locations throughout North Carolina over the next three years. These branch locations—which will be located primarily in the Triangle and Charlotte areas—will allow JPMorgan Chase to expand its customer base and enhance its existing services. These new bank branches will also allow for the creation of new, good-paying jobs.

Interested in investing in North Carolina commercial real estate? Ground + Space is a leading commercial real estate brokerage firm based in North Carolina that specializes in single-tenant and retail NNN investments. Contact us today to find out more about our current listings or sign up for our mailing list to stay in-the-know on all that North Carolina has to offer.

2019 Retail Development Trends

The most recent development trend to sweep through the Southeast commercial real estate market is focused on elevating the traditional brick-and-mortar consumer experience. Many mixed-use developers are scaling back on the presence of traditional retailers and moving toward creating epicenters for community engagement.

The Changing Face of Retail

What’s causing this change in strategy? The simple answer: e-commerce. In a landscape dominated by Amazon and other online retailers, consumers can now order a nearly unlimited variety of items—from home essentials and beauty products to clothing, electronics and even groceries—with the click of a button. Developers are now hoping to draw consumers away from their computers and into shopping centers by offering them something that can’t be purchased online: an experience.

According to a recent study, most adults would rather spend money on experiences as opposed to purchasing items from a typical brick-and-mortar retailer. With that in mind, developers are beginning to transition to mixed-use projects that aren’t driven by the traditional big-box anchor tenant. Several innovative mixed-use developments are underway in the Southeast, and they all have a few things in common: easy accessibility; demand from non-traditional and specialty retailers; and a varied mix of retail, restaurant and residential space.

The Future is Food

In a society focused on Instagram-worthy snapshots, it’s no wonder that food and beverage concepts are now being positioned as anchor tenants within innovative, upscale mixed-use developments in the Southeast. Consumers are driven to visit trendy, boutique restaurants with unique interior and exterior designs in the hopes of capturing the perfect styled photo for use on social media. If that same restaurant is placed prominently within a larger mixed-use development, chances are consumers will spend time exploring the surrounding area to see what other picture-perfect spots are available.

Food and beverage concepts, restaurants and specialty stores are proven to drive repeat foot traffic and tend to lengthen the shopping experience for consumers within mixed-use developments. Traditional retailers benefit significantly from proximity to food and beverage concepts for that reason. Additionally, food and beverage sales are now outpacing traditional retail sales. From an investor perspective, food and beverage retailers tend to be preferred assets among retail landlords because those tenants tend to pay higher rental rates.

Experiential Retail in the Southeast

In North Carolina, the Raleigh-Durham area has plans to develop a major project that will bring exciting new entertainment, retail, residential and restaurant assets to residents and visitors alike. This mixed-use development, called Fenton, will be located approximately nine miles west of downtown Raleigh in the city of Cary, North Carolina. This area has gained attention in recent years from both businesses and developers thanks to its affordable cost of living, highly educated workforce and temperate weather. Fenton will sit near the famed Research Triangle Park, which boasts more than 250 businesses and 50,000 employees. Fenton is also around the corner from Wake Med Soccer Park and major retail centers like Cary Village Square Shopping Center and Cary Towne Center.

Once completed, Fenton will be a sprawling, 92-acre mixed-use development that will attract visitors and residents of all ages. This walkable district will bring together a cosmopolitan mix of unique shopping, dining and entertainment experiences that are all connected to a community of businesses and residences. Scheduled to begin construction in Summer 2019, Fenton will eventually include: a Wegmans Food Market; 440,000 square feet of specialty and experiential retail; a 36,000-square-foot movie theater; over one million square feet of office space; two boutique hotels; and over 800 luxury multi-family apartment units.

Interested in commercial real estate investment? Ground + Space is a leading commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in single-tenant and retail NNN investments. Contact us today to find out more about our current listings!