Lambson at last year's
Western Division Conference.

Whenever people talk about what’s hot in commercial real estate, multifamily is usually the property sector that gets all of the glory. But don’t overlook retail, says Mark Lambson, a principal at Partner Engineering and Science, Inc., which is a Thought Leader.

“Retail is one of the hottest areas right now,” he says. “It seems like there are a lot of properties changing hands.”

Of course, the circumstances are different than before the recession. Right now what we’re seeing are many private owners trying to get out of the retail real estate business, as “vulture” investors and institutional REITs come in an purchase assets at a discount.

But it’s not just transactions, Lambson says. He also sees development taking place as well in small pockets. “I’ve seen a lot of activity on the West Coast,” he says. Most of that activity is coming in the fast-food arena. Among the tenants he sees expanding and building are Panda Express, Wendy’s, McDonald’s and In-N-Out Burger.

Hear more from Lambson next week after we do a video interview with him at the San Diego Convention Center on Thursday.