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ALBUQUERQUE, NM-More than 1 million sf of retail development is expected next year in this city, the largest in New Mexico. Much of it is coming from national companies, according to a report by Grubb & Ellis.

“Big-box retailers, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Kmart are doing well and are planning to add more Albuquerque locations in the coming year,” according to the report.

However, the Furr’s grocery store chain recently closed, impacting the retail market.

Smith Food & Drug, Raley’s and Whole Foods are filling the vacuum left by Furr’s, according to Grubb & Ellis.

“On the other hand, some smaller tenants are experiencing decreased business and are faced with the challenge of being able to utilize their existing space,” Grubb & Ellis notes. “Therefore, Albuquerque is faced with the challenge of attracting replacement anchors while continuing to retain in-line tenants.”

One trend that is continuing is that tenants increasingly are “trading up” and leaving older centers for new and better construction and locations, the report notes.

Overall, retail looks strong in 2002 for those wanting to sell, the report says.

“Low interest rats are enticing national and local investors, to buy shopping centers and raw land to develop large retail projects,” according to Grubb & Ellis. “There continues to be a short supply of income producing centers to satisfy the rising demand. Values are holding and should remain stable in 2002. Many owners are expected to refinance assets and take advantage of dipping interest rates.

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