The double-edged sword of road construction—as related to commerce, and particularly retail—is something to be reckoned with. On one hand, the disruption of traffic flow caused by the construction is bad for business. Conversely, if the road construction, combined with easier access to areas with strong demographic dynamics, truly improves a location, then patience is a virtue. This assessment, though, does not take into account what can really happen.
Take, for example, the State Highway 114 and State Highway 26 D/FW Connector project north and west of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This massive road improvement project is problematic for businesses, to say the least.But consider Park Place Shopping Center, at the northwest corner of S.H. 114 and Park Boulevard, right in the middle of the construction.
Our leasing team was dealing with a box space that had been vacant a long time. The highway project and its redesign, with its new ingress and egress to our site, improved the center’s long-term location in terms of presence and accessibility. Additionally, the area’s demographics continued to strengthen, seeing as the site was at the Grapevine/Southlake border in the heart of an affluent and growing trade area.
As a result, several strong retailers showed interest in the site. Ultimately, a lease was secured with Tarrant County’s first Golf Galaxy (owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods), which backfilled the entire 64,250-square-foot anchor space at Park Place. It provides a regional-destination property with a more-than-capable anchor.
Despite some short-term pain, road construction improving the micro component of real estate, combined with a growing macro regional trade area, can provide a winning combination.
Bob Young is managing director of The Weitzman Group. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.