It came as a surprise to some, not to others. Commercial real estate saw a boom in 2021 and will continue to see a surge this coming year.
According to a recent report from industry research firm IBISWorld, the U.S. commercial real estate market is valued at $1 trillion and saw a 3.1% rise before the end of 2021. Continued growth is expected through 2022.
In the recent Commercial Real Estate Chartbook, experts claim that property prices are continuing to climb with gains in retail and industrial properties, while offices and hotels are still on the road to recovery.
From hotels to multifamily, here is a quick snapshot of the CRE bounceback we’re expecting to see in 2022.
Some experts say the great office exodus in New York City didn’t actually happen, and that tenants cut their space by only 7.4% over the past year, according to data analytics firm CBRE. Meanwhile, two companies at Hudson Yards in New York City plan on expanding their office space. These businesses include private equity firm KKR & Co. and financial services firm Wells Fargo & Co. The latter recently bought a majority stake for more than $500 million at the top of one building, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While hotels remain, like office space, a relatively volatile industry, they did see a boost from holiday season travels. Much of the travel, according to CBRE, was from domestic visitors. At the Knickerbocker hotel in Times Square, for example, the daily room rate is close to 2019 levels. Foreign tourism could then provide a boost in the spring.
It isn’t just in New York, but abroad, too. In Puerto Rico some of the island’s most prominent hotels are for sale on the market. Experts claim the owners of these hotels are cashing in on Puerto Rico’s strong tourism, which has been steady over the past year. It has remained easy to travel to this U.S. territory from all 50 states, compared to other non-American islands nearby.
Despite the spike of the Omicron variant, Puerto Rican hotels have seen bookings back to 2019 levels. The development group PRISA Group and CPG Real Estate may be selling the Dorado Beach hotel, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There’s no doubt a warehouse shortage across the country has made industrial real estate the hottest of all CRE markets. With some companies making remote working a permanent fixture of their day to day, developers are converting older office buildings into shipping warehouses, some of which have been snapped up by Amazon. In New York and San Francisco, for example, more than 80% of all office space is over 30 years old.
Especially with the rise of direct-to-consumer companies — which has seen a boom thanks to the e-commerce renaissance during the pandemic — many companies are looking for major industrial leases. These deals often demand at least 100,000 square feet of warehouse space. The expansion has also led to a 15% increase in hiring truck drivers.
It was recently announced that Brooklyn Fare will open its largest flagship grocery store at One Manhattan Square, the Manhattan condo along the Two Bridges, bringing high-end cuisine to the foot of the Lower East Side condo tower, signing a 30-year lease.
They’re not alone. A number of farmer’s market style grocery stores will be everywhere in 2022, as the market-style grocery store has caught on. Is it the subconscious connection we have between freshness and farmers?
Expect wooden doors, shelves and stations for samples of new products, which have nature and wellness in much of their community-driven branding. It’s like the communal table experience, but with a shopping cart. Chicago-based Farm Shops is expanding, too, a community-driven chain that has an emphasis on shopping locally.
Some experts say the American shopping mall could make a big comeback in 2022. Consumer spending is expected to rise, fueled by pent-up demand.
Qith the e-commerce boom, DTC brands that made their start online are jumping aboard the physical store wagon. Many have hired in-house teams to open stores or pop-ups across the country to get more customers who don’t typically click through their online shops. That trend includes DTC brands like Allbirds, Glossier and Vuori, all of which have plans to expand their stores in already-established department stores such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. This strategy is low-risk for smaller brands looking to reach new audiences without the risk of a long-term lease (take Tonal and 11 Honoré, which have partnered with Nordstrom, according to Forbes).
More and more malls will continue to renovate and expand, too, like the Mall of America in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The site has become a live, work and play destination with several attractions, including a theme park, high-end shopping brands and on-site museums.
“Read my lips, physical retail is here to stay and people really like to shop in the physical world, so don’t believe everything you hear on TV, we’ve got the evidence,” David Simon, Chairman, President and CEO of Simon Property Group, the country’s largest mall owner, recently said.
Multifamily will probably be the most reliable source for investors in 2022. In fact, investment in multifamily properties are expected to rise from $213 billion in 2021 to $234 billion in 2022. They are also going to become more environmentally-conscious, especially when it comes to luxury properties.
One REIT called Veris Residential, which is a rebrand of Mack-Cali, is focusing exclusively on multifamily properties. Veris has an environmentally-conscious focus, using smart meters to measure energy consumption in each of their LEED-certified luxury buildings. They have also established an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) committee that works with the board of directors at Veris to incorporate environmental and social considerations into the fabric of the company. One of their commercial properties is the Harborside in Jersey City.
In a statement, Veris Residential’s CEO Mahbod Nia said, “It’s serving as a compass to inform our current and future decision-making. “Our new brand, Veris Residential, encapsulates our responsible, transparent, and forward-thinking approach, underpinned by a unified culture grounded in equality and meritocratic empowerment.”