1B — February 22 - March 14, 2013 — Commercial Office Spotlight — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


Nai e mory h ill

hile the commercial real estate market in general may not NAI Emory Hill Office market moves in positive direction medical office, retail also predicted to increase W Emory Hill during a 2012 market review and 2013 fore- cast presented recently to the be a bigger market for con- dominiums because “a lot of doctors and medical groups want to own real estate.”

cluded Emory Hill’s portfolio properties Penns Plaza and Little Falls Centre. There was also increased activity with a number of new and renewed leases at Emory Hill’s Springside Plaza and Pencader Corporate Center properties. Jim O’Hara, Jr. said the increase in office activity reflected a higher number of smaller transactions, and he predicts that both office and retail activity will continue to increase in 2013. “We’ll see a continued high increase in medical needs,” like we did

in 2012, O’Hara said. NAI Emory Hill executed several large leases for Med Express in Delaware, the area’s new leader in walk-in medical care, with more expected on the way. “Tenants like Med Express are aggressively looking for sites,” O’Hara said, adding that medical of- fice construction should also be on the upswing. Construction of the new Christiana Care ER in Mid- dletown, Delaware should attract more doctors’ offices and boost high-end residen- tial sales as well. O’Hara predicted that there will also

be rebound- ing as quick- ly as some hoped, it is still inching forward and movement is anticipated in cer tain categor i es

New Castle County Del- aware Eco- nomi c De - ve l opment Council. Dave Mor- rison, CCIM, s a i d Ne w

Retail Also Active “There is still a battle for every corner” in Delaware among drugstores and con- venience stores like Wawa, Royal Farms and Walgreens, O’Hara said. CVS is looking for additional stores in the near future as well, he said. “The automotive indus- try is also alive and well,” O’Hara added, citing sev- eral leases NAI Emory Hill executed over the past year withAdvancedAuto and Pep Boys, which is looking for more sites in the future as is Auto Zone. He attributed the growth of this industry sec- tor to the economy. “People aren’t buying as many new cars and are trying to get another 20,000 miles out of their existing ones.” he said. In retail overall, O’Hara said we won’t see a lot of “mom and pop” stores due to the risky economy but “a lot of national tenants are looking and there will be op- portunities for some national big boxes to come” to large retail centers like the Chris- tiana Mall, where he said Kimko will soon be building a 400,000 s/f center. This past year large transactions statewide included the sale of the 302,000 s/f Christiana Center and 165,000 s/f First State Plaza. Major lease transactions included the 17-screen Cinemark and a Cabela’s at Christiana Mall. Industrial Growth Slow But Not If Re-purposed O’Hara and Morrison don’t anticipate the same increase in industrial property sales and leases, and growth may- be overall be “flat” in 2013. However, this trend can turn around if building owners are open to “re-purposing” their buildings, they said. One example of this is the conversion of warehouses to charter schools. There was a big increase in the number of charter schools that leased commercial industrial space in 2012, and five new charter schools are up for approval, O’Hara said. n

Jim O’Hara Jr.

Dave Morrison

including medical office space which continues to improve. That good news was imparted by commercial real estate experts JimO’Hara Jr. and Dave Morrison of NAI

Castle County, Delaware’s of- fice market experienced posi- tive absorption, with some office buildings reaching 100% occupancy rates for the first time in years. They in-

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