WICHITA, KS: (wichitaksrealty.news)
Wichita and Derby’s local retail real estate market evolving
With more people shopping online today than ever before, investing in the retail real estate industry can be an iffy undertaking. Most brick and mortar retail locations have taken a hit as Amazon and other juggernaut online stores expand their hold on consumerism, but what does that mean specifically for the Wichita and Derby region? Experts report that retail real estate is not bad, though it’s changing, said Patrick Ahern, a commercial real estate adviser with NAI Martens.
“Retail is pretty healthy here,” Ahern said. “That said, I do think retailers have to ask themselves what their business model will be in five years.
“How much will be online and how much will be brick-and-mortar?”
Studies disagree, showing that retail space vacancies have been increasing in the area, despite the sustained growth rate in the retail real estate market. David Leyh, a broker with Landmark Commercial Real Estate who specializes in retail, said part of the reason vacancies persist is because fewer people are bold enough to go into business for themselves after the recession.
“Overall, retail is doing well,” Leyh said. “There’s a lot of growth in northeast and northwest Wichita, and a lot of it is national tenant- and regional tenant-based growth. They’re stronger than the local operators.”