(Photo Source: John McStravick)
While 2016 continues to be a year of substantial building and redevelopment, what are the current trends? Sophisticated investors, private equity funds and experienced developers are still making big moves when it comes to acquiring new commercial properties and unveiling new plans. Although many are concentrated on urban redevelopment, as well as expanding to the suburbs, there are some trending features being integrated into these ventures that may prove to be critical to new developments in the near future. Sustainability There are many reasons as to why sustainability must be built in to new projects, including new regulations and financial penalties or advantages to going green. Savvy investors want to invest in green projects, which have resulted in LEED and similar certifications becoming major marketing factors for private capital and consumers alike. Also to be taken into consideration, are health and productivity benefits of developing sustainable real estate projects. The escalating costs of utilities and the increasing scarcity of resources are a driving factor in giving self-sufficient buildings an edge with future tenants, investors and owners. Community If there is one main trend in commercial real estate and urban redevelopment today, it is community. There is a significant focus on walkability and urban transportation options, especially in the inner city and suburban neighborhoods. New buildings and local businesses have fewer parking spaces, with a focus on entertainment and experience. This also applies to residential and mixed-use properties, with the intention of bringing people together. Flexibility Pop up stores may be the epitome of these recent development trends, as these types of stores are increasingly becoming interactive and offering more ways to buy and receive goods. Even in the residential real estate space, buyers and renters are demanding more flexible spaces, often fueled by new technology, which can fit their many moods and needs. Summary It would be wise, for those currently in search of the next investment opportunity, to look at projects, which incorporate these three primary trends (community, sustainability, and flexibility). Which of these features do you most admire? Which, do you believe, will continue to stay in demand for the long haul? Which do you think are fads and are not big factors in your decision making?