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2014 Commercial Real Estate Forecast: Some Growth Despite Limited Space

By Corey Allen-Young, Education Reporter, cyoung@ktuu.com
Published On: Jan 10 2014 06:54:50 PM AKST
Updated On: Jan 10 2014 04:36:00 PM AKST

Trying to fill spaces over the past couple of years, Anchorage's commercial real estate market has seen continued growth. As spaces quickly fills up in the city, what will that mean for the industry in the new year?

ANCHORAGE -

New developments and businesses are popping up all around town, but Anchorage real estate experts say the forecast for 2014 expects little space to build anything new.

That means the coming year could be challenging for people wanting to set up shop.      

While Anchorage is getting a lot of attention  in the real estate market from outside groups, in 2014, that affection may slow down a little bit. 

"We are seeing low vacancy this year. There's not a lot of space for those new tenants to go, so we will see new trends,” said Brandon Walker, a commercial associate broker with Pacific Tower Properties who spoke at the Building Owners and Managers Association of Anchorage annual forecast. 

“I think at some of the power centers like Tikahtnu Commons you will see probably a diversity of new tenants," he said.

Walker said the theme of high occupancy will continue in retail, industrial, and office development around town.

"I think the only bad thing, the underlying thing here, is that the obsolescence in the industrial market and low vacancies is making it challenging for new tenants and buyers to move from one property to another, or to find a space that is a good fit for their company." 

As for what that mean for jobs in the commercial sector, state economist Neal Fried said that's hard to tell.

While new buildings or businesses going up usually means more jobs, Fried said that doesn't always mean a net increase of them. For example when a new restaurant opens, they may just be taking employees from somewhere else. 

"You see the Tikahtnu Commons, that's a whole new center, but retail in Anchorage has not grown at all," Fried said.

Moderate progress early in the year may still be too early to understand what it means down the road.

Walker said while high occupancy may slow down some areas like Tikahtnu Commons, others like in South Anchorage or the Glenn Square could see more tenants moving in because they have space.