Rethinking the Dallas-Fort Worth Retail Market

In Bradford Buzzby Bradford

No asset class has realized more seismic changes during this cycle than retail.

From technology to tastes, the space we devote to the consumption of goods and services continues to evolve, CoStar states.  Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services’ retail gurus, Leigh Richter – Executive Vice President and Paul Richter – Vice President rethink retail by providing insight on the Dallas-Fort Worth Retail Market.

What are you currently seeing with Retail in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex?

Leigh & Paul Richter: Not just Dallas-Ft. Worth, but on a national scale, we are seeing more large, national chains that are closing stores.  There is an announcement almost every day.  This is contributed to a combination of rising rents and lower in-store sales due to on-line sales.  Customers are not shopping the same old way and are looking for unique stores and products, as well as an “experience” while shopping. 

What does this mean for the remainder of 2019?

Leigh & Paul Richter: This national trend will continue as profitability drops, resulting in higher vacancy rates in all retail property types. All retailers, but especially restaurants are experiencing higher costs for personnel and a shortage of workers. The overall low unemployment rate is a factor as well.

Even with the National Market big box store closures, higher costs and dropping profitability it seems Dallas Retail market has thrived. CoStar reports that Dallas – Fort Worth has cemented itself as a market leader for retail and restaurants.  From the creation of dynamic lifestyle centers, walkable mixed-use, to the reimagining of outdated and inefficient industrial spaces into some of the trendiest places in the nation, the retail environment in Dallas-Fort Worth is prospering.

Recently you have obtained projects in the Farmers Branch Eastside Business District. What changes are you seeing for retail in that submarket?

Leigh & Paul Richter: We have two properties in Farmers Branch – Alpha Plaza and Midway Center.  Both properties have undergone façade renovations and are positioned to move from tenant mixes that have been focused on “flex” uses to more direct retail businesses.  These properties are locally owned and are considered as part of their “core” projects.

At Alpha Plaza, we have leased space to EuroLiving Furniture for a modern furniture showroom, Urban Spikes (unique arrangements using living succulents) for a design studio and showroom and Cantera Doors for a showroom for their custom steel doors and products.

Midway Center has a new Pencil on Paper Gallery for art classes and studio space.

Interest in both properties has been steady over the summer and we anticipate signing additional new leases in the next short period.  We have not experienced a summer slowdown.  With new multi-family properties under construction or planned, the demand is good.

This submarket is fortunate in that the City of Farmers Branch is actively supporting retail and has been providing façade grants to properties in this Eastside District.  We meet with their Director of Economic Development on a regular basis and she is extremely supportive of our efforts.

With the changing retail market, Leigh and Paul Richter have scoped out new tenants that will flourish in this new-age environment. Bradford’s Retail Team not only has in-depth knowledge of the Dallas-Fort Worth retail market, but we work together with varied approaches to represent and provide solutions for each and every client. We consider each transaction as our most important. This proven deal-making capacity drives our business each and every day. We are responsive to clients and will work a plan to meet your desired goals. Stellar results and successful deals are a product of our philosophy when working with clients—honesty, integrity, ethics, and respect, always.