As reported in our March 25th post, one of the big predictions for commercial real estate is a move away from retail malls for retailers and commercial investors in suburban America. Part of this trend is due to the slow economic recovery, which has been a boon to discount and dollar store retailers. In a recent article for Crew Network, Faith Hope Consolo discusses various reasons for this expansion into urban America for discount retailers (see current trends in retail in north america), not the least of which are population density in urban areas, and the fact that the economic downturn left many urban Americans unable to shop beyond the necessities. In short, there are an abundance of customers who need these stores.
But even outside of big box discount stores, there is a rebirth of restaurants, boutiques and other retail establishments in new residential buildings which seem to sprout up everywhere there is available land to develop in downtown areas. Little Rock is no exception. Rivermarket Towers, Block 2 Lofts and 300 Third Tower are all located in Downtown Little Rock, within walking distance of ArgentaRiverfront. And of course the Argenta neighborhood of downtown North Little Rock has numerous new developments along the trolley line which is lined with retail establishments, as new to the neighborhood as Dickey-Stephens ballpark, home to the Arkansas Travelers.