The State of the Market
The Mid-Atlantic region continues to thrive based on strong demographics, job growth, and other positive economic factors. Evidence of such strength is the MSA’s second quarter year-over-year 4.8% retail sales increase, an unemployment rate of 4.5%, and a recent US News & World Report survey ranking Maryland and Virginia as two of the top ten wealthiest states in the country and Delaware a high-ranking fourteenth. The strength of the region is dominated by jobs in government, education, technology, and tourism. This strength has given both retailers and developers confidence in the trade area. From an investment perspective, The Wilder Companies, in partnership with an institutional real estate fund, moved back into the area with their purchase of Silver Spring Square, the 342,600 s/f center in Mechanicsburg, PA. And on a property level, examples of reinvestment into brick and mortar shopping include Simon’s common area improvements currently underway at King of Prussia and Kimco’s retenanting of a vacant Macy’s at Suburban Square (Ardmore, PA) with Life Time Fitness and West Elm. Such initiatives are necessary given the ever-changing consumer demands and expectations.