April Lunch Serves Up Discussion Of Retail, Restaurant Trends

May 4, 2022
Written by: Peter Madrid, Madrid Media

April Lunch Serves Up Discussion Of Retail, Restaurant Trends

The industry expertise AZCREW members possess was on full display when the chapter hosted its April lunch event, “Retail/Restaurant Outlook & Trends.”

Current member Carol Schillne (Orion Investment Real Estate) served as moderator and panelist. Other panelists included member Beth Katz (KatzDesignGroup) and past member Judith Van Houten (Chase Bank). Josh Simon (SimonCRE) rounded out the panelists.

Carol opened the event by sharing key data with an energized lunch crowd of members and guests.  In the Valley’s retail market in 2021, 1 MSF of new product came on line; $7 billion of retail dollars was realized; the vacancy rate dropped by 7%. “Retail is alive and well, and it’s embracing communities around the Valley,” Carol heralded.

Judith shared the new Chase model for its smaller and sustainable branch offices. While most large financial institutions are cutting back on large swaths of office space and branches, Chase has opened branches in the bottom 48 states – the first bank to accomplish that.

Josh shared his company’s latest and most exciting retail development, Prasada in Surprise, Arizona. It’s been a long time in coming since Macerich first proposed it years ago. With the advent of the Loop 303, it is now coming out of the ground.
When it opens later this fall, it will total 700,000 SF of retail, 98% of which is already leased.  “Right now, Arizona is the most exciting place to be,” Josh said. “Retail is following the growth of not only Phoenix but the suburban markets as well.”

Beth took a more “techy” approach as her firm is tasked with incorporating aesthetically pleasing design while embracing the new delivery methods and nuances brought on as a result of COVID-19.  This includes what she called the patio revolution.
“It was popular during the pandemic, and it’s likely to stay here in Arizona, aided by misting and heating systems."  Other topics she discussed were robots and contact-free innovation and brand in brand, offering diners something extra, such as merchandise or themed nights or happy hours.

There were some issues that could sour the growth of the Valley’s retail market. They included worker shortages, supply chain snafus, and tussles with municipalities when it comes to planning and development.