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“Retail-tainment” on the Rise

It has been 2 years since COVID-19 brought our daily life to a halt, and consumers today are constantly seeking new experiences and thrills. Entertainment concepts that took a hit from the pandemic seem to be getting back on track, and forward-thinking big box entertainment concepts continue to evolve. Further, many entertainment franchises have entered the retail scene, occupying space in shopping centers and malls following a trend known as “retail-tainment.”
 
Dave and Buster’s, the restaurant and entertainment chain, suffered greatly throughout the pandemic. Now, they are on their way back to pre-pandemic success levels, boasting 6% higher revenue’s than the chain made in 2019. The video game arcade company has learned to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic, and have even introduced a mobile app that allows users to pay and play right off their phones (National Restaurant News). Recently, Dave & Buster’s acquired Main Event, a state-of-the-art "all you can play" entertainment concept, for $835 million according to Shopping Center Business.
 
Many developers are accepting that entertainment is a major player in the future of retail. In 2018, Jim Becker, Senior Executive/Director at Goodman Real Estate Services, represented Main Event in the deal that introduced the entertainment venue to the Northeastern Ohio market in Avon, Ohio. Jim Becker currently represents Launch Entertainment, an exciting leader within the family entertainment industry that offers trampoline courts, dodgeball, rock climbing, laser tag, virtual reality rooms, ninja courses, an in-house restaurant, beverage services, and more. On a mission to rapidly grow their national reach, Launch Entertainment has recently opened new locations in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, and are looking to expand to Ohio. The franchise currently has 80 centers open and under development.
 
Scene75 is a similar concept, with a full restaurant, bar service, and over 100 games available to play. The company was named the #1 Entertainment Center in the world by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions in 2016 and 2021. Scene75 offers several attractions, including Indoor go-karts, laser tag, blacklight mini-golf, virtual reality room, a 4D motion theater, bumper cars, arcade games, bars, a restaurant, and more. 
 
Topgolf International is an excellent example of an entertainment concept that continues to evolve. Each Topgolf facility offers an engaging way to eat, drink, socialize, and play a game of simulated golf. High-tech golf balls are hit from climate-controlled hitting bays, aimed at targets throughout the giant outfield, and the balls score themselves. Every location is created differently, varying between single-level and multi-level venues. The Nashville location is home to a two-story live performance venue, over 200 HDTVs, a rooftop terrace with a skyline view, and a VIP deck with a private balcony and bar. The chain opened 10 new venues in 2021, and there are 9 new facilities currently being built (GolfPass).Topgolf has built over 74 facilities in the past two decades, and they are continuing to expand and innovate to improve customer experience.
 
Beyond Golf and X-Golf are similar golf entertainment concepts, but they operate indoors and on a much smaller scale, fitting well in shopping centers. Beyond Golf is a venue that allows players to enjoy gourmet food, craft beers, and cocktails, all while playing games on popular golf courses around the world through a high-definition simulator. X-Golf also offers games of simulated indoor golf with over 50 open locations in the U.S., occupying roughly 10,000 square foot spaces. At X-Golf, players can take golfing lessons, play on virtual courses, enter tournaments, and enjoy a full bar and restaurant. In 2021, Steve Altemare, Senior Vice President; and Rob Yaskanich, Senior Director, at Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC, represented the landlord in the transaction that brought X-Golf to the Avon Commons shopping center.
 
The "retail-tainment" trend has excelled as the population shifts more towards online shopping, and many shopping centers and retail spaces are seeking tenants that will appeal to consumers in different ways. Decades ago, it would be uncommon to find entertainment and restaurant concepts anchoring shopping centers. Now, movie theaters, restaurants, arcades, bowling alleys, and new forward-thinking concepts have become an attractive addition to retail centers, and even help to boost the success of surrounding retailers. 
 
 
 
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"Medtail" Mania

Healthcare has become more local as medical retailers strive to offer convenient alternatives to hospitals or geographically distant office spaces. Medical providers across the country are seeking sites in retail locations such as storefronts, malls, and shopping centers to repurpose as both urgent and primary care facilities. In 2020, nearly seven in 10 adults in the United States were visiting a health care provider in a shopping center or enclosed mall or strip mall, following a survey done by ICSC. This trend of healthcare retail has only escalated since the pandemic. 
 
According to The New York Times, medical providers are taking advantage of depressed rents to open facilities within malls and shopping centers located in suburban and rural areas, even entering big-box spaces vacated by department stores. Following a pandemic that forced many retail stores to close, Landlords are also seeing the benefits of working with medical tenants who typically sign long-term leases and are financially reliable (Advisory Board).
 
WellNow Urgent Care, recently purchased by Aspen Dental, is a company that has followed suit by opening urgent cares in retail locations throughout New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. In Rochester, New York, a former Sears department store will soon be the home of a 350,000 square foot orthopedic healthcare campus, offering surgical services amidst several fashion, sports, and entertainment retailers at the Marketplace Mall (The Wallstreet Journal). Concierge medicine has also been on the rise, providing a popular option for patients looking for accessible healthcare, personalized services, direct access, and shorter wait times. Concierge doctors are more affordable than ever, and they do not require traditional medical real estate spaces. From minute clinics to surgery centers, medical retail has turned into a new commercial real estate norm. 
 
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The Future of Gas Stations

As we continue to transition into a world of electric power, one thing remains clear: change is inevitable.
 
Electric cars have been around for a while, but they may dominate the market faster than we think. BCG predicts that sales of electric vehicles will amount to one third of the market by 2025, and 50% by 2030. Volvo plans to be purely electric by the year 2030. What does this mean for the future of gas stations?
 
The truth is that most gas stations do not make their money from selling gas. The real profit comes from the convenience stores located within the gas stations. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, there are 148,026 convenience stores operating within the United States, and 116,641 of those stores sell motor fuel (NACS). 80% of all motor fuel sold in the U.S. is sold by convenience stores. Further, a study done by NACS shows that 44% of gas station customers go inside, and 1 in 3 people end up purchasing a good from the convenience store. These in-store purchases make up roughly two thirds of the average gas station's overall profits.
 
Many fuel and convenience retailers, such as Sheetz and Wawa, are paying well above market price for sites located at prime corners. Location might make the difference in whether these gas station convenience stores see substantial profit or not. As electric cars become more popular, the need for charging stations will only increase. Especially considering the recent spikes in gas prices, electric charging itself presents a cost-efficient and overall more progressive choice. Fuel retailers might see this as an investment opportunity for charging stations. It is also likely that these electric chargers will bring customers inside of convenience stores similar to traditional fuel pumps. Charging an electric vehicle takes longer than filling up a gas tank, leaving consumers more time to shop. In the future, gas stations may be repositioned as “service stations,” offering more fast casual restaurants or food delivery to enhance consumer experience, as suggested by CNET. Ultimately, gas stations will need to adapt to the imminent changes within the automotive industry, and seek sites that are likely to increase in-store traffic.
 
 
 
 
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Goodman Real Estate Announces Zack Sogoloff and Seth Marks as New Leasing Agents for First Interstate Properties 2,500,000 SF Retail Portfolio

Zack Sogoloff, Senior Vice President; and Seth Marks, Senior Associate at Goodman Real Estate Services LLC, have been selected as the leasing agents for First Interstate Properties’ northern Ohio portfolio of retail property. These assets include two of the Midwest's largest super-regional shopping centers, Steelyard Commons (808,619 SF) and Avon Commons (775,103 SF). Other highly notable properties include Willoughby Commons (468,131 SF), Oakwood Commons (297,552 SF), One University Circle, and the Avon 611 development. Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC has represented these significant developments from the ground up, including involvement in the design, pre-leasing, leasing, and phase II and phase III development; and the company continues to represent them today.
 
Zack Sogoloff has been in the commercial real estate business since 1997 when he joined Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC. Since then, he has been a top producer in power-center development and leasing throughout Ohio. Seth Marks has been in the business for 12 years and has extensive experience in shopping center leasing across more than 15 states. Zack and Seth have been partners for eight years, since Seth joined Goodman Real Estate Service Group LLC. Together, the agents work on pre-leasing, leasing, and developing shopping centers for their clients, and are responsible for over 6.5 million square feet of existing retail space.
 
First Interstate Properties is a full-service real estate development and management company. Mitchell Schneider, President of First Interstate Properties, created the company in 1989. Since then, First Interstate Properties has become a highly respected developer of projects throughout Northeast Ohio and is known for creating significant value and providing high-quality work. Goodman Real Estate Services has worked with First Interstate Properties since its beginning in 1998 and is excited to continue this professional relationship. 
  
“We are grateful to have worked with the team at Goodman Real Estate since it’s inception. The team has deep market knowledge and strives to develop quality relationships with landlords and tenants alike. People trust this team because they have a proven history of integrity and success – a terrific combination! It bears out in the success of the centers they lease in our portfolio, which have averaged above 96% occupied for many years." 
 
– Mitchell C. Schneider
President, First Interstate Properties
 
 
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Cap Rate Compression in the Drive-Thru Sector

From 2020 to 2022, cap rates have compressed throughout nearly all commercial investment types. Many factors have led to this compression, including rising inflation, a recent flight to hard assets, changes in the political landscape, re-opening of the economy and, of course, less supply coupled with increased demand overall. One investment type that has been especially pronounced is the retail quick service restaurant (QSR) segment. 

Throughout 2020 and the few years leading up to it, average closing cap rates for new Starbucks and Chipotle leases with 10 years of term were in the 5%-5.35% range. Within only 6-12 months, these compressed to 4.25%-4.75%, depending on lease type and location, for an overall drop of up to 75 basis points. Not only have cap rates compressed significantly for the asset type, NNN-leased QSR’s as a whole are difficult to find for many 1031 investors, compressing cap rates further even for the smallest of franchisees. What does this mean for buyers in continued competition for quality (and even lesser quality) QSR deals? Owners of these properties should evaluate their portfolios and consider divesting of any non-core assets they may have previously thought about selling to take advantage of record high pricing.
 
If you have questions about buying or selling on a national basis, you can reach out to Kyle Hartung, Vice President and Director of Investment Sales at Goodman Real Estate Services Group, LLC.
 
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