Every month, Utah Business partners with Holland & Hart and Big-D Construction host roundtable events featuring industry insiders. This month we invited commercial real estate specialists to discuss the multifamily market, WeWork, and the revitalization of the Salt Lake's west side. Moderated by Brandon Duke, senior mortgage banker at KeyBank Real Estate Capital, here are a few highlights from the event.
WHAT ARE SOME SIGNIFICANT RETAIL PROJECTS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN 2019?
Andy Moffitl | Senior Retail Specialisl | Mountain West Commercial on behalf of Vestar
We've been working with Vestar to transition and redevelop the Gateway mall. It is becoming a young, cool social gathering spot for Salt Lake City. Most people have the same comment: "Love the Gateway. Haven't been there in 10 years." Figuring out a way to change that conversation has been one of our focal points. The future of the Gateway is a live, work, play environment that takes advantage of large blocks of space where we can back fill former retail spaces with different types of uses.
MarikoMimnaugh | Director of Retail | Gushman & Wakefield
I think retail is pivoting. There are some retailers that are downsizing. They're rethinking how to get retail happening again and how to get the young audience to create buzz on a more traditional platform in more traditional shopping centers. You're seeing landlords that are being really creative with how they're going about exclusives so that they can protect their space and are thinking ahead as to what might come in to fill those spaces. They're also paying more attention to making sure their spaces aren't so stale.
Jeffrey Woodbury | SVP Acquisitions & Development | Woodbury Corporation
We're trying to mix use more. It's not about more square footage. It's about higher sales per square foot. By adding housing to our retail mall at University Place, we increased our sales by almost $50 a foot. And it's just bodies. Cities are fighting to keep their retail or keep their commercial versus add housing. They think housing is a bad thing and maybe in the 70s and 80s it was. But now housing is all about amenities. It's all about creating that community and creating a living experience. The thing we've discovered is that more people are selling their houses and moving into apartments. It's a matter of changing a community's viewpoints.
HOW IS THE MULTIFAMILY MARKET DOING?
Lee Dial | CFO | Cowboy Partners
Most of the developers are building to the top of the market because the costs are so high. So, to justify those costs, you have to get top-of-the-market rents. So that just amplifies the need for workforce and affordable housing. The...