As we enter The Retail Connection’s eleventh year, we reflect on the enterprise we have built in our first decade and will continue to build ahead. We are beyond proud of the exceptional teams, clients, powerful relationship and platforms we have with these extraordinary partners. As always, we remain totally focused on navigating our clients through the real estate markets with unmatched industry knowledge, experience, capacity and a total commitment to their success. Our ultimate objective always being to provide the ultimate connection at every point where retail and real estate come together.
Collaboration, cooperation, adaption, progress, setting the curve and discipline have been the themes of our business approach over this past decade and we are proud of our accomplishments, including:
Our growth to over 100 employees today with offices in Texas’ four major cities: Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Driving the expansion strategies of our clients across North America from Mexico City to New York City and coast-to-coast;
Over 5,000 transactions for more than five billion dollars in consideration to date;
More than 250 retail | restaurant chains as clients and partners;
Over 300 retail projects totaling more than 28 million square feet | projects leased;
TRC’s 100+ Club includes over 100 leases negotiated for Bed Bath & Beyond, Famous Footwear, Dollar Tree, Vision Works, JPMorgan Chase Bank; Great Clips;
Connected Development Services has developed | redeveloped over 3 million square feet of shopping centers and has an equal amount of developments in the current pipeline;
Connected Acquisitions Services has acquired 10 centers totaling over 2 million square feet of shopping centers and has 750,000 sf of acquisitions and redevelopments in the current pipeline;
TRC joint-ventures have monetized over a quarter of a billion dollars of projects over the past 2 years with an equal amount being sold over the next two quarters;
Connected Capital group has seen 3 of our first ten portfolio companies successfully go public;
Recognition | Awards include: Best New Retail Development | Entrepreneurs of the Year | Stemmons Service Award | Top Brokers | Heavy Hitters | Best Retail Leases | Best Real Estate Deal | Largest Commercial Developer | Best Places to Work | Fastest Growing Companies.
We are equally optimistic about the decade ahead as we look at the strengthening US economy and see a sustainable extended recovery continue to build. Nationally, GDP growth has almost doubled since 2011, and the financial markets have rebounded from their recession lows to new all-time highs. Stock appreciation, an increased savings rate and reduction of consumer debt has resulted in net worth gains of almost $9 trillion. Add in a solid rebound in housing with existing home sales up 15% and new home starts up over 30%, interest rates remaining low and projected to hold in this range, and unemployment projected to drop below 6% by year [down from the recession peak of 10%] and you have a very solid base of support underpinning retail real estate’s growing rebound.
As we all know, consumer spending is the engine to our economy, driving two-thirds of the nation’s GDP – and the consumer is clearly feeling much better about keeping their job and home, reducing debt, and spending, as clearly reflected in consumer confidence hitting 94.5 in October, up from 71.2 a year ago.
As a result, retail sales are up and holiday comp sales are projected to be 4.1% over last year. Nationally, retail vacancy is projected to be at 9.9% by year end, vs. 11.2% in 2013, as retailers continue to open stores and grow their businesses.
Texas continues to be the nations’ front runner with the fastest growing economy in the U.S., now #2 behind California and leading the country in both new job creation and population growth. Texas is the 14th largest economy in the world, with Dallas, Austin and Houston ranking as 3 of the 5 fastest growing cities in the United States. In Forbes ratings for the top cities with the best job markets, DFW is #1, Austin #3, and San Antonio, #6. Texas’ unemployment rate remains well below the U.S. average at 5.1%. The performance of our retail markets have followed these positive trends with shopping center occupancies increasing – DFW at 92.1%, Houston at 91%, Austin at 96.5%, and San Antonio at 92.3%. All combining to activate a rapid acceleration of redevelopment and ground up retail development throughout the state.
From our origin in 2004 to today, and as we embark on our second decade, our total commitment to our clients remains the guiding force driving everything we do. As always, we greatly appreciate the invaluable roles that our team, clients, and partners play in our successes; and we look forward to all our collective opportunities ahead.