Monthly Archives: May 2017
Brewing Up A Foodie City
With the inauguration of President Trump fresh in our minds, it would be appropriate to discuss the impact of a new presidency on the retail real estate world. Will new tariffs impact retailers like Best Buy and Walmart, or could new manufacturing emerge that might lower costs? Instead of discussing these weighty issues, and because Colliers International | Pittsburgh has its priorities straight, we would prefer to talk about beer. Specifically the burgeoning microbrewery explosion we have seen in our region.
Combined with a hot restaurant scene, Pittsburgh’s food options have never been better.
The excitement in Pittsburgh’s food scene is headlined by the strong growth in regional micro-breweries. Just this past month Mindful Brewing opened their new location on Route 88 in Castle Shannon. At the same time Southern Tier Brewing Company opened on the North Shore and Helltown Brewing announced it is expanding to Bloomfield. By some count, no fewer than seventeen breweries are planned or expected to open in the region in 2017. While many might wonder if this could be too much of a good thing, Kyle Mientkiewicz of Grist House Craft Brewery, one of Pittsburgh’s first and most popular craft breweries disagrees. “In the grand scheme of things I don’t think the market is
saturated yet,” he said, “but if you do enter the market you better have a good product”. Grist House’s success has shown other entrepreneurs that people will seek out good
Local craft breweries are only a part of Pittsburgh’s strong restaurant scene. National and regional restaurant chains are expanding rapidly within the market and competing for real estate options. Restaurants active in the market include Firebirds, Bomba, Hello Bistro, Plaza Azteca, Choolah, Mission BBQ, Emiliano’s, and many others. By some counts there may be dozens of restaurant concepts competing for the same prime locations. The result is a lack of opportunities for smaller local restaurants and increasing rental rates. Restaurants that used to lease space for $15 or $18 per square foot are now forced to deal with market rents that range between $25 and $40 per square foot. Rising occupancy and labor costs create a conundrum for many restauranteurs. Joe Billhimer, a franchisee of multiple restaurant concepts said, “The implications of higher rents, coupled with increasing difficulty in finding quality workers and their ability to get to your location absent mass transportation services, has added another factor into deciding the right location for a restaurant to be prosperous. It has become very important to look at your location and the availability of workers.“
Some pundits believe that, nationally, there is an oversupply of restaurant uses and that there will be a market correction. In a recent poll by the National Restaurant Association, only 17% of restaurateurs believed that the market for restaurants will improve over the next year, while 29% see conditions worsening. Of course, we know that polls don’t always correlate with reality, so have a beer, leave the politics aside and enjoy the plethora a food options that Pittsburgh provides.
To read the full Q1 2017 Pittsburgh Retail Newsletter, click here.
Check out the fresh new look of the 1st Quarter 2017 Investment Newsletter
This edition of the Investment Newsletter contains 1st quarter 2017 market indicators, market statistics, sales transactions and an investor spotlight interview with Bill Hunt of the Elmhurst Group based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Click here to view the entire report.
Colliers’ Kids Bring Fresh Ideas to the Office
Three very imaginative, sales-minded and hard-working children joined the Colliers International | Pittsburgh team last week for our annual “Take Your Child To Work Day.”
The first part of the day was spent learning about what makes buildings different, including the amenities they offer. This was all in anticipation of their big project of the day: create and draw your own building, come up with a pitch, and then try to sell it to anyone in the office.
Garrett, a kindergartner and the youngest of the bunch, designed a hotel skyscraper with a full movie theater in it. His brother Ryan, who is in 2nd grade, created four very different buildings. The most notable was named the “Titanic” in which he described as a “ship like building that can be moved by a truck to be moved into the water.” When asked if it was like the Pittsburgh Ducky Tours, he said yes, but that it was much bigger and people could actually live in it. Lizzie, a 4th grader, designed a retail building with an ice rink and pretzel shop, where people could dip their own chocolate covered pretzels. She also created a very cool office building where people could not only come to work, but the main priority was to have fun!
“My kids had a great time learning about commercial buildings,” Mark Anderson, dad of Ryan and Garrett said. “Their favorite part was negotiating with buyers for their hypothetical properties.”
Lisa Mikolay, Lizzie’s mom, added, “I know the day is supposed to inform the kids about their parents jobs, however, it was a learning experience for me as I saw my quiet 9 year old girl turn into a high pressure sales person trying to get the most profit from her building.”
While no real money was exchanged for their million dollar buildings, their hard work didn’t go unnoticed. All three kids received a cash prize of $1 and pizza for lunch! Afterwards, Ryan and Garrett accompanied their dad on a very important business meeting, while Lizzie helped her mom with various office tasks for the rest of the afternoon.
The whole office was impressed by the creativity and work ethic of each child. It is apparent that they will do great things when they grow up!
“When I asked the kids what they thought their future careers would be, I was intrigued as Garrett talked about being an inventor of new floating chocolate (another Willie Wonka) and Ryan wants to be an inventor and is very interested in finding life on other planets and the possibility of living on other planets,” Lisa explained.