The CityMD location in Clark opened late last year and is one of more than a dozen locations for the chain in New Jersey. — Courtesy: CityMD
At the risk of oversimplifying, there’s at least one thing that brick-and-mortar retailers can do to improve their odds: Offer something that you can’t buy online.
We see it in restaurants, fitness clubs and other concepts that have moved up the list of preferred tenants for landlords. But who would have thought a decade ago that we would be talking about urgent care clinics, physical therapists and other medical users in this context? Many landlords might not have seen it coming — in fact, they would tell you they shied away from medical tenants in the past — but the health care sector is now a key force in the world of suburban shopping centers and downtown retail corridors alike.
It should come as no surprise that this trend has found its way to New Jersey over the last five years, in a big way, and you can read all about it in this latest issue of Real Estate NJ. Our cover story this month takes a look at the growth of medical retail and all of the nuances that come along with it. For one thing, there seems to have been a perfect storm that paved the way for this movement: Retail was hurting after the Great Recession, while the Affordable Care Act expanded the insured population and changed how health care was delivered. As you might guess, New Jersey was impacted by these forces as much as any other market.
That’s not to say it has been easy for landlords and brokers to get their arms around this concept. As you’ll read in our story, medical tenants typically have more robust utility needs and require longer, more complex build-outs. They’ve also become increasingly selective and confident as they realize just how valuable they have become to shopping center owners. But make no mistake: Health care has breathed new life into the retail sector and experts say there is still room for it to grow, even if the market has recovered and competition has intensified.
Our July issue also looks at last month’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on the issue of e-fairness, as retail advocates describe it. The high court ruled that online retailers and remote sellers must collect sales tax if they do business in a state, even if they do not have a physical presence there. As you’ll read, the decision is likely to have a big impact on state coffers in more ways than one, even if its impact on real estate is limited.
Our Personalities section features an interview with Tim Lizura, the outgoing president and chief operating officer of the state Economic Development Authority, who sat down with us to reflect on his 22 years with the agency. I know it will appeal to many of you, given his important role in New Jersey commercial real estate during that time.
It pains me to say that summer is flying by, but we’ll continue to follow the market every step of the way, as we set up for what will likely be another busy fall. You can keep up with all of it right here and in The Briefing, our daily e-blast with the latest industry headlines in New Jersey.
Thank you for reading and for your continued feedback. Enjoy the issue!