Society: Susan Goldstein has facilitated transactions in Sarasota and Manatee counties for over 15 years, totaling over $ 100 million. In the Sarasota area, an influx of new residents from other parts of the country is driving some commercial real estate activity. âBasically the economy is that new residents need new services that are met by commercial real estate,â says Goldstein. âThe dynamics of our market are very different from those of the global market. The strong residential market is the basis of our strong commercial market.
Opportunities: While it is clear that more people than ever are working from home, Goldstein sees opportunities in the office market. âI think any kind of change creates opportunities for investors and business owners,â she says. âI think the biggest struggle will be having realistic expectations on both sides. There are potential buyers who believe they can find flights. I don’t see a lot of thefts there. And then the owners – the sellers of properties – have to look at where the market is, where we think it is going and price it appropriately and react when we determine where the market is.
The pandemic has encouraged work-from-home situations that have led some companies to downsize spaces, but Goldstein says offices will continue to be important to company culture and creativity. Some businesses may also need more square footage for social distancing. âThere are companies that are going to grow, and there are companies that are going to reduce their footprint,â she says.
Beyond the office market, Goldstein sees continued opportunities to come in the industrial space. âIt is certain that the industrial market has been and will continue to be hot,â she says. âPart of the result of the pandemic is that many companies are trying to move their operations or supply chains locally or at least to the United States, which is creating a high demand for industrial products. “
Threats: The retail sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, with store vacancies and bankruptcies dotting the landscape, both locally and nationally. Note: Real estate data company CoStar Group reports that the top 40 retailers that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the 11,157 stores that closed this year have both set new annual records.
On the flip side, Goldstein believes the region’s strong residential development will continue to support pockets of retail. As an example of the strength of commercial real estate, Goldstein cites a transaction in the St. Armands Circle submarket in Sarasota. Retail sales remain vacant on the circle, but it was also the site of a record-breaking sale this year when Limestone Asset Management and Orion Real Estate Group bought a pair of retail stores for $ 15.5 million. At $ 1,712 per square foot, it set a record in the shopping district for price per square foot, according to a Business Observer analysis.
In general, while 2020 has been a year of upheaval, Goldstein predicts a different kind of year to come. “I see a calm coming to the market with the end of the elections and the availability of these vaccines,” she said. For business owners, this could be a feeling of relief. âNow they really have to dig even deeper and figure out where they want to go and how real estate will be part of it,â says Goldstein. “I am very optimistic for 2021.”