Weekly Advantage | August 12th


“I am about ready to hang this thing on my refrigerator. I have yet to find a single blemish in this jobs report. I’ve never before seen such a wonderful set of economic data.” – Harvard economics professor Jason Furman, in a tweet.

  • US employers added 943,000 jobs in July, most since Q3 2020.
  • August numbers will be telling to see how much the Delta variant has affected things.
  • 40% of job gains from hospitality sector.

“Smartphones have historically been largely consumption devices….but they’re now quickly becoming the primary transaction device.” -eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman

  • Mobile commerce (“M-Comm”) is expected to almost double its share of annual US retail sales by 2025, to 10.4%—or $728+ billion.
  • Retail is evolving so fast that having just a website is not even enough anymore. Apps compatible with phones and tablets are becoming vital for buying-on-the-go.


With the 2020 US Census data being released later today, below is what the Census Bureau has estimated the results will look like:

West Michigan is pacing the state in terms of population growth…..


GreenStreet Advisors’ Property Price Index grew 14% over the past 12 months. 2.4% in July alone.

  • This Property Price Index is a “time series of unleveraged U.S. commercial property values that captures the prices at which commercial real estate transactions are currently being negotiated and contracted.”

GreenStreet also estimates that approximately 20% of big box shopping mall anchors are currently sitting vacant.

  • Anchors are key traffic drivers, and thus vital, for ancillary retailers.
  • New types of potential uses:
  • Educational
  • Medical/dental
  • Self-storage
  • Fulfillment-only centers
  • Even a….casino !


Parking – City valet as a solution? – StrongTowns

  • Many cities currently operate garages downtown at a loss, especially considering the opportunity cost of what the land could be used for – producing tax revenue and creating jobs.
  • Supply is often not the problem; cost, proximity to destination, and overall hassle usually is.
  • During pandemic, lots of street parking was re-purposed for outdoor seating and curb-side pick-up.
  • One city is implementing a strategical valet service throughout the city’s downtown to take parking out of the core, while still allowing the customer to get close to their final destination.
    • This improved flow of traffic, too, by reducing congestion caused by people driving around looking for spots.

Office – Activity up – Globe St.

  • Touring activity is markedly up in main and secondary markets, however “notable deal volume” has yet to materialized.
  • Q3 & (especially) Q4 should see a release of some pent-up demand.
  • 77% of office-using jobs lost since March 2020 have been recovered (and growing).
  • Labor Day remains key inflection point, despite back-to-work mandates being delayed in some instances due to Delta.

Industrial – Rent growth of up to 10% more? – ProLogis/Globe St.

  • Record-breaking industrial absorption continues to push rental rates higher throughout second half of the year.
  • Looking forward, target inventory-to-sales ratios will likely be higher in a bid for resilience, pushing up utilization rates and supporting logistics demand as supply chains boost inventories.

Retail – Wendy’s to open 700 ghost kitchens – Bisnow

  • First time we have seen this trend on such a large scale.
  • Will be located throughout the US, UK, and Canada.
  • Partnership with REEF Technology.
  • Backed by over $1B from equity sources.

Retail – Cascade retail center to get a new look & feel? – WOOD8

  • Shuttered Family Video on 28th St SE may soon be home to a new micro-fulfillment center for grocery delivery company GoPuff.
  • Additionally, healthy-eating franchise Clean Eatz plans to open it’s first Grand Rapids location in the adjoining former-Wendy’s.

Enjoy the rest of the week!

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