I just have one mostly tangential thing to say about this.
Houston will see a modest and steady growth in retail activity in 2013, according to Ed Wulfe’s annual retail forecast.
And the following year should be much better, said Wulfe, who is chairman and CEO of Wulfe & Co., a retail development, brokerage and property management firm.
The amount of new shopping center space to be built and opened in 2013 will be slightly greater than this year’s, while 2014 should be “very strong based on what’s underway,” Wulfe said.
I note that story mostly because it seems like as good an excuse as any to wonder once again about the status of all those long-dormant projects whose empty lots serve as a daily reminder of their lack of activity. I speak of course of the Stables and the Robinson Warehouse, now celebrating its sixth anniversary of vacantness. At last report the Sonoma site was being redeveloped; I can’t personally confirm this, as I generally avoid the area. Regent Square was supposed to have commenced construction in October, but I haven’t seen anything on the Allen Parkway part of the property. And one property that I generally forget about but was in the news recently, the old Astroworld site, also continues to lay fallow. I know this story is about retail development, and most of the sites I’m talking about were intended to be residential or mixed-use, but I feel like the Houston real estate market won’t truly be healthy again until something is happening with all of them.