Article submitted by Carmen R. Austin, MBA, CCIM, Associate Broker for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

Written by John K. Crotty, CCIM | Jan.Feb.2016

Less than 10 years after the biggest boom and bust in the U.S. real estate market, retail asset sale prices are reaching pre-recession peaks and demand continues to increase from tenants and investors alike. In 2015, the retail market experienced dynamic growth nationally as sales of retail assets recorded the greatest gains of any product type when compared with the same period in 2014, jumping 64 percent in the first half of the year and exceeding its 2007 pre-recession peak, according to Avison Young. Despite the threat of interest rate hikes, the trend is expected to continue throughout 2016. 

However, the needs and strategies of retail investors and tenants for today’s market are different than in the past. Prepared investors need to understand where the buying opportunities are as premier supply becomes scarce, why now is the time to buy and sell, and how best to equip for the future.

Where to Invest?

Retailers continue to eye key sectors with strong demographics and multicultural offerings, which provide the perfect environment for retail expansion or new concepts, allowing businesses to better scale.

For many retailers and investors, urban core and high-street real estate maintains its trophy status in 24-hour gateway cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. Retailers value the attraction these locations have for millennials, tourists, and international consumers.”

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Carmen has been a practicing commercial real estate broker since 2001. She is a graduate of the Louisiana State University (LSU) E.J. Ourso College of Business and the LSU Flores Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Finance.  Her experience includes past employment as Regional Director of Leasing at Commercial Properties Realty Trust the for-profit arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Carmen’s affiliations include Louisiana REALTORS®,Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment DivisionInternational Council of Shopping CentersCommercial Real Estate WomenCertified Commercial Investment Member InstituteNational Association of REALTORS®, and Urban Land Institute. She is also an active volunteer on the board of directors for the Baton Rouge GalleryLSU MBA Alumni AssociationJunior Achievement of Baton Rouge, and the Junior League of Baton Rouge.  Carmen is a graduate of the Jay W. Levine Leadership Development Academy Class of 2011 and most recently served as the 2010 President of the Louisiana CCIM Chapter

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).