Markets & Economy

Houston retail industry catching up to housing, says Wulfe & Co

  • Supermarkets will account for the highest percentage of retail space built and delivered.
  • Mall expansions and mixed-use developments will account for most of urban Houston's new retail.
  • Minimal spec space will be delivered.

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The Houston metro has routinely led the nation when it comes to annual housing starts. Now the Houston retail industry appears to be catching up, as construction activity in the sector will noticeably increase in 2016. According to Houston-based Wulfe & Co.'s annual retail survey, 4.53 million square feet of new retail shopping center space will be built and opened in the greater Houston area this year. This is a 33 percent year-over-year increase in volume. This square footage figure also represents the highest total for the retail sector in seven years. A spike in retail building and shopping center deliveries will equate to more construction jobs, and retail employment, which bodes well for a metro struggling with oil and energy sector volatility. Boosts in construction and retail employment should benefit the metro's housing market. Retail construction concentrated around Grand Parkway Submarkets near State Highway 99/Grand Parkway will likely reap the most benefit...