Retail development makes comeback nationwide

Andrew Alexander, President of Weingarten
Andrew Alexander, President of Weingarten

Following a sluggish couple of years during the economic downturn, retail development is picking up thanks to the growth of discount chains like Walmart, Target and Family Dollar, the Wall Street Journal reported.

National retail giants such as Regency Centers, Weingarten Realty Investors and Brixmor Property Group are all reviving stalled plans to build new shopping centers in suburbs all over the country, the Journal reported. In one instance, Weingarten is planning on finishing construction of eight shopping centers nationwide — all more than 200,000 square feet — that broke ground in 2005 and 2006.

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Some of the projects were under construction when the economic crisis hit, while others were still in the planning stages.

Until now, there has been little retail development activity, as bricks and mortar stores have faced increasing competition from online retailers. In the last 12 months, only five million square feet of new retail space was developed nationwide, compared to nearly 200 million square feet in 2006. [WSJ]Katherine Clarke

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