The past 12 months will surely go down as a memorable year in the real estate business and perhaps be viewed as the year of the “pivot”, or the first significant change in the market in a generation. The creation of the social media explosion and ecommerce have forever changed the game. Many people and retailers continued to play catch-up and reacted on a situational basis instead of adopting long term plans to coexist and thrive in this new world. Others greatly benefited from this and we saw, and will continue to see, online “e-tailers” open brick-and-mortar locations. Inevitably during this change, the market had its casualties. In 2017 there were more bankruptcies in a 12-month period in the retail sector than almost any other time. Acquisitions by both online and brick-and-mortar retailers was a HUGE part of industry change, from Amazon buying Whole Foods to Walmart buying jet.com. A big part of this is driven by millennials who also greatly impacted the multi-family and residential market, and created a boom in the mixed-use transit projects from the suburbs to the urban areas.
We close out 2017 with the first tax reform bill in the U.S. in 35 years and while pundits and experts are debating the potential impact, many retailers are already predicting a near 15% reduction in their Corporate Tax Rate adding to their bottom lines, which means more growth, and ultimately more jobs and commerce. I have spent a lot of time discussing and writing about what has been coined as this “Retail Armageddon” and its hyper-reaction to admittingly big changes that have occurred and mostly from the position of disagreement. Its not that people don’t have money to spend on retail, like they did in the Great Depression, they HAVE the money, the consumer is there, they are just getting things and their information in a different and diverse way today.
I’m excited about next year and some of the very BIG things we have in the pipeline. We will likely be under construction on a new development project, continue to push and succeed for our existing clients in an unrivaled way, and continue to grow and perfect our infrastructure in all aspects. Thoughts become things and that will never change….wishing everyone a Happy Holiday and Prosperous New Year.