In Houston today, it looks like there is no shortage of good news for developers. Recently, the area has undergone a massive housing boom, in part facilitated by the large number of corporations moving to the city because of it’s stellar workforce. In fact, Houston is home to over half of the Fortune 500 companies in Texas and as more giants like Amazon move to the area, that number will likely grow.
This increase in both opportunity and housing for residents has led to a boom of another kind – this time, in retail space. Recent reports indicate that grocers and other retailers are snatching up real estate fast, which means that developers should be on the lookout for opportunities to create new retail facilities.
What is Driving Growth?
Houston has been one of the fastest growing cities in the United States for nearly two decades now. In fact, Forbes ranked the city as the fastest growing overall in 2015, adding more than 63,000 jobs in that year.
There are several factors behind this exponential growth. First came the oil jobs, with Houston being the epicenter of a major energy boom. With that influx of wealth, other businesses followed. Between 2009 and 2015, more than 1,500 corporations moved to Houston or expanded their presence in the city.
What followed was a large demand for labor, with new residents flocking to the city – and those residents needed (and still need) housing. This all led up to the conditions that developers and real estate agents are seeing today, the massive retail boom that is a necessity to provide goods and services to a rapidly expanding city.
How Large is the Retail Boom?
The 2017 retail expansion represents a 9.2% increase over numbers from 2016. In other words, the city expects to add more than 5 million square feet of retail space. Nearly a quarter of this space, 23% to be exact, will be devoted solely to supermarkets.
Which retailers are expanding in Houston? Many major companies top the list, including Walmart, Target, Kroger, Costco and even Aldi but there will also be plenty of smaller companies taking root in the city as well. In particular, Aldi plans to open ten stores, Kroger is planning six major retail outlets, Walmart is adding three new supercenters in addition to other retail spaces and Costco is building a 150,000 square foot warehouse.
The demand for goods and services is high in Houston. What’s more, this is not a one-off year for retailers nor is it a year that breaks records for retail expansion. That title belongs to 2008, which saw 6.26 million square feet of retail space added to the city.
And that is where developers come in. The foreseeable future will be bringing more and more retail and commercial spaces, which means developers will have ample opportunity to create new commercial buildings all over the city. Keep a close watch on this market and expect great things to come across residential, commercial and retail sectors. In addition, more jobs may mean more development in nearby master planned communities such as Bridgeland.