Velocity Retail Group hosted a Retail Briefing and Forecast event for dozens of municipal economic development personnel and clients. The event was geared toward exploring how cities, corporations and building owners can adapt as retailers evolve to better accommodate the changes in consumer shopping.

Dave Cheatham, President of Velocity Retail Group moderated the event, and was joined by Trey Eakin, Executive Vice President of Accelerated Development Services, Brian Reed, Vice President of Preconstruction with A.R. Mays Construction, and Darren Pitts, Executive Vice President with Velocity Retail Group.

After a market overview where Dave provided a summary of the current retail market delving into the reasons behind the 30% decrease in new retail construction, as well as the shift in the type of buildings being developed. The economy in Arizona remains strong in all major categories both new housing and multi-family permits are growing, as well as strong job creation. The retail market is holding steady and we expect much the same for 2020. “The retail market is active in several tenant categories including food, daily needs services, health, value oriented retailers, and entertainment,” said Cheatham.

The panelists discussed the advances in new construction processes to improve construction economics, how the labor market is affecting construction costs, and explored land prices for commercial parcels vs. residential and multi-family. There was also discussion around new shopping center and building designs to accommodate multiple drive-through lanes for food tenants, as well as the movement for many tenants to be on a prominent pad building along major arterials.

The future of retail is bright. Retailers will continue to evolve and change as they have for centuries. Consumers will continue to drive change and retailers will adapt to these shifts by providing added value, convenience and technology to drive more sales.