Category Archives: Research

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
beer.

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.

1Q2017 Investment Newsletter -2

Continued Strength in Q2

Following a strong performance in the first quarter of 2016, Pittsburgh’s office market ended the second quarter with similar strength, boasting a vacancy rate of just 7.7%. The average rental rate, over all classes, finished at a solid $20.40 per square foot.

Overall, Pittsburgh’s Central Business District (CBD) posted a declining vacancy rate of 8.3%, down over 0.5% from this time last quarter. The average asking rental rate per square foot for all classes in the CBD remained steady from previous quarters reaching $23.66 per square foot. The average asking rental rate for Class “A” buildings in the CBD was just over $26.65 per square foot with Class ”B” reaching an average of $20.60 per square foot. We can expect overall rental rates in the CBD to increase due to the two large renovations underway to include: the 529,000 square foot Liberty Center and the 1,011,000 square foot One Oxford Centre. The buildings are currently quoting $33.00 and $34.00, respectively.

Similarly, Pittsburgh’s suburban office market remained strong. The end of the second quarter showed a 7.4% vacancy rate compared to the first quarter’s vacancy rate of 7.9%. The average rental rate for Class “A” buildings in the suburban office markets reached $23.43 per square foot with Class “B” attaining rates of $19.36 per square foot. Both classes demonstrated an increase from the previous quarter. Suburban submarkets, such as the Parkway West, have retained large amounts of Class “A” inventory providing sizeable users with options in the market.

Click here to view the full report.

Q4 2015 Pittsburgh Office Market Report

Office Market May be Nearing Peak

At the conclusion of 2015, Pittsburgh’s office market is beginning to show
signs of peaking. Overall office vacancy rates for the 4th quarter increased
slightly over 3rd quarter results from 8.1% vacant to 8.3% vacant at year
end. Rental rates for office space in all submarkets and classes decreased
slightly in the 4th quarter to $20.51/sf, from $20.55/sf in the 3rd quarter, or
a 0.02% decrease.

Pittsburgh’s CBD had a few notable transactions in 2015. PNC moved
into its new Platinum LEED Certified 800,000 SF office tower located at
300 Fifth Avenue in the 4th quarter. PPG Industries, Inc. maintained its
headquarter presence at One PPG Place, renewing approximately 300,000
SF there. In November 2015, US Steel Corporation announced it would not
be moving forward with a planned “300,000 SF Build-to-Suit” at the site of
the former Civic Arena, instead, electing to extend its lease commitment at
600 Grant Street for one more year through the summer of 2018. Millcraft’s
Tower Two-Sixty, a mixed use development including office, retail and a
hotel adjacent to the vibrant Market Square, signed three office leases and is
closing in on 80% occupancy prior to the planned Spring 2016 completion
date.

Click here to see the full report.