LOS ANGELES—As the retail sector continues toimprove, developers are finding redevelopment opportunities tobuild new product, according to Stephanie Skrbin,a principal in Lee & Associates' L.A.North/Ventura office. Skrbin sat down with us for an exclusiveinterview to discuss end-of-the year retail trends in her market,which, overall, has seen a successful year.

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“The trend here is redevelopment because the San Fernando Valleyis so over built that it is difficult to find existing land,”Skrbin tells GlobeSt.com. “You continue to see developers going inand finding projects with a conversion play or an upgrade to anexisting retail project.” She adds that in addition to the areabeing overbuilt, developers also have a hard time assembling landplots because there are “usually multiple owners involved.” Withinthis redevelopment trend, she believes retailers will find space inmixed-use properties more and more. “I think the biggest trend thatyou are going to see in the future is multifamily or some sort ofresidential or office buildings with ground floor retail,” sheadds.

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North Hollywood and Burbank are the strongest submarkets in herregion because they have been undergoing gentrification over thepast five to 10 years. “You will continue to see that in thefuture,” says Skrbin, pointing to developments, like thePromenade at Topanga, which is slated to comeonline at the end of 2015. It will be a lifestyle development withrestaurants, but will also have service retail, including aCostco.

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Like the other sectors, including multifamily in Los Angeles, there is a lot of capitalchasing deals in the retail sector as well, although Skrbin notesthat local, mom-and-pop retailers have had a little more troublefinding financing. “I think that is getting better,” she says. “Thetenants are expanding more frequently these days, although there isalmost always a national anchor tenant.”

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As we move into 2015, Skrbin says the retail market throughoutthis region will continue to improve with occupancies declining andrental rates moving up slowly. “The market is definitely prettystrong right now, and I expect that to continue,” says Skrbin. “Wewill continue to see new projects coming online in the form ofredevelopment.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.