A big loaded 2022. That’s what attendees at the Louisville Commercial Real Estate Summit from REjournals expect. And that’s why there was so much optimism at the event held on September 15 at the Olmsted in Louisville.
More than 100 CRE professionals from the Louisville market attended the event, focusing on the struggles brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the bright future they await for this market throughout 2021 and through. in 2022.
The optimism seems justified. Louisville’s CRE market was maintained throughout the pandemic. And the multi-family and industrial sectors here have flourished. And although offices and retail have seen challenges, summit attendees expressed hope that both sectors will see better times in 2022.
Participants on the development panel were Emily Liu, director of Louisville metro planning and design services; Earl Winebrenner III, Managing Member, Winebrenner Capital Management, LLC; Cyndi Whitmer MBA, CCIM, Evaluator, Integra Realty Resources, WCRE Louisville Chapter, who moderated the panel; and John Fischer, Managing Member, FISCHER’s Real Estate Brokerage & Betterment Haus, LLC.
The developer panel also had some good news to share. It is true that, as the panelists said, developers always face challenges. In particular, delivery times are long for key building materials and these materials are more expensive today. At the same time, it is also not always easy to find the necessary manpower for larger development projects.
But on the bright side, panelists said Louisville’s market development continued throughout the pandemic, in part because construction is seen as a vital industry. Panelists said they expected an even busier construction year in 2022, further positive news at the top.
Members of the Louisville market sector panel included David Hardy, Managing Director, CBRE; Justin Brown, Managing Partner, Lucia Partners; Charlotte Hollkamp, ââManaging Partner, Nexus Commercial Advisors; Steve Gray, President / Senior Director of Industrial, Cushman & Wakefield / Commercial Kentucky; and Moderator Frank Kalmbach, Director of Finance and Operations, Louisville Downtown Partnership.
News from this panel? It wasn’t surprising. The industry continues to thrive in Louisville as it does in much of the country. People flocked to online shopping during the pandemic, which boosted the fortunes of the industrial sector. Consumers want their products to be delivered ever faster, prompting companies to open new distribution facilities and new warehouses across the country. Louisville’s location in the center of the country has made the city an attractive destination for industrial users.
Retailers have had to adapt to changing customer needs, and panelists said the most successful retailers have pivoted quickly during the pandemic, bolstering their online capabilities and offering fast delivery and curbside pickup. Street. Many of these changes will persist after the pandemic subsides, the panelists predicted.
What about the office market? It is on the move in Louisville as it is across the country. It was hoped that more companies would bring their workers back to the office from September. The Delta variant, however, repelled that. Desktop users therefore continue to wonder how many of their employees will return to the office full-time and how many will return only in hybrid mode.
The multi-family panel included Brian Evans, Vice President, Cityscape Residential; Craig Collins, senior manager, Cushman & Wakefield / Commercial Kentucky, who also served as moderator; Adal Yousef, CFO / Partner, Denton Floyd Real Estate Group; Greg Solomos, Senior Vice President, Bellwether Enterprise; and Steve LaMotte Jr, executive vice president, CBRE / Central Midwest Multifamily.
This sector was also strong throughout the pandemic in Louisville. As in other markets, vacant housing has remained low in Louisville throughout the pandemic, while rent collections have remained surprisingly high.
The multi-family market here is stronger, however, in suburban areas than it is in downtown Louisville. As in other major cities, some tenants have moved out of downtown during the COVID-19 pandemic. This, however, is expected to fail, and the downtown apartment market is expected to rebound.
Several members of Women in Commercial Real Estate Louisville also attended the summit. This included Jill Morzillo, Field Research Analyst with CBRE (far right, standing); Colleen Perkins, senior business development executive at CORT and president of WCRE Louisville (standing, middle); Cyndi Whitmer, Business Appraiser at Integra Realty Resources and WCRE Board Member; Kristy Inmon, business development with Miranda Construction (far right, seated); Melissa Cobb, business development with Signarama Downtown; and Genevieve Neller, Business Development Manager at ABM (far left, seated).