Commercial Real Estate Forecast: Retail Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2020

Even with recent news of a fragile economy, developers still see opportunities in investing in real estate in the coming years. As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, real estate is expected to perform well. One good sign we see for investors is the big developers are still in the game.

While retail, in particular, has been much more volatile in recent years compared with other areas of real estate, some exciting trends are emerging to help stabilize this sector. Just like in business, when we have to shift with the times, retail is making adjustments to remain competitive — and it’s important for investors to stay in the know about what’s coming.

Here are some of the latest findings and commercial retail real estate trends to look forward to in 2020.

The latest retail trends

Things are rapidly shifting in retail, as we see new formats on the rise. Shopping centers are no longer one-size-fits-all and can now become highly customized to local preferences and by using advanced technology, according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020. Promising subsectors of retail right now include “class A super-regional centers, grocery-anchored neighborhood centers, and urban high street locations.”

Rents are stabilizing, and there’s still enough leasing activity. Landlords have been more creative in filling retail space such as incorporating a mix of retail and new experiences to attract guests. Spaces for restaurants, fitness centers, and entertainment have doubled over the past 10 years, the report mentions. 

A sense of community

As co-working and co-living continue to be popular for Gen Z and millennials, creating an “intentional community” is another important trend for this cohort. Urban green markets that connect the farm to the city, which are a type of pop-up retail concept, now number at about 8,700, the report estimates. Foodies and locavores alike gravitate toward these new retail environments, which is something for investors to keep in mind when developing any retail or mixed-use area.

Live/work/play trends 

Speaking of mixed-use areas, combined live/work/play areas are especially attractive to younger generations. People are looking to live and work in these booming suburbs that have plenty to offer in the way of coffee shops, brewpubs, bars, shopping, dining, entertainment, public transit, and jobs. These are often walkable areas located close enough to nearby larger cities, but offer enough to attract young workers to these “cool suburbs.” 

Developing in such areas would require a keen understanding of this demographic’s unique retail tastes. It’s worth much consideration, especially when vibrant downtowns and “hipsturbias,” as well as the multi-family rental market, are expected to benefit from these retail real estate trends.

Let’s discuss your next investment

As your Southern California real estate specialists, Allwest Properties, Inc. offers a full range of real estate services for commercial, industrial, and multi-family apartment properties throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

With over 25 years of industry experience, we offer a comprehensive array of solutions, including sales, leasing, tenant representation, landlord representation, investments, site selection, and consulting services. Our goal is to exceed our clients’ expectations with each and every transaction.

Contact us today by calling 949-287-3291 or emailing







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