Most surprisingly given the steady influx of investment into theDC area by institutional investors not to mention its high level ofhousehold income, retail is underserved here, Delta Associates saysin its new report TrendLines, authored by CEO Greg Leisch. Thissituation is unlikely to change in the near future as there is onlya modest pipeline of development.


Right now the metro area's retail space per capita is 21.3 sfper capita; some submarkets, such as the District itself at 7.8 sfper capita, are even tighter. This compares to the national averageof 20 sf per capita. Although more than 12.3 million sf of retailinventory has been added to the DC area since 2000, the arearemains underserved thanks to a growing population.


These fundamentals point to a number of opportunities forinvestors in retail. Value add plays could be particularlyprofitable: Delta Associates notes that the Washington shoppingcenter landscape is aging, with just over half of the shoppingcenters over 25 years old, while only 16% are aged 10 years orless. Prince George's County, in particular, takes the lead, as 64%of its total retail inventory is aged 26 years or older.

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