UNFOLDING TRENDS THAT WILL
DOMINATE THE NEXT YEAR
Trends that began to emerge in 2019 will start to make
their presence known in the following 12 months.
BY ERIKA MORPHY
In a prestigious office tower minutes away from Philadelphia’s City Hall in the heart of its downtown, you can find a Primrose school, one of a national sys- tem of accredited private preschools. You can also find one at a 53-acre mixed-use community in Brookhaven, GA, which features residential units and 66,000
square feet of retail space. In the Grant Park submarket of Atlanta, there is a
Primrose School occupying the space where an obsolete warehouse used to sit.
Move over street-level retail and green walking trails. The latest amenity for
mixed-use projects is a school, according to Jo Kirchner, CEO of the educational
institution. There are more than 25 million children under the age of 5 living in
the US today and the majority of their families live in child care deserts, she
explains. Which is certainly of interest to city and school officials, but mixed-use
developers? Yes, Kirchner says. “Primrose schools, for instance, draw in parents
twice-a-day, five-days-a-week, many of whom are higher-income millennials—the
most active generation of homebuyers in the nation.”
You have to hand it to Kirchner. She may well have pinpointed the emergence
of the latest CRE trend. Kirchner is usually buried in the day-to-day operations of
her role but as the end of the year nears, her thoughts—and ours—turn to 2020
and what big-picture changes we will see.
For all intents, 2019 has been good for commercial real estate. The cycle,
aged though it is, continues to run. The larger US economy has weathered a
trade war with China. Fundamentals are sound and, to cite one example, it
appears as though the multifamily asset class will end 2019 on a high note after
encountering some headwinds earlier in the year. Liquidity is plentiful, while
overbuilding has remained at bay.
2020, at least for the first half, promises much of the same. That is not to say
that the CRE environment will be stagnant; as always there will be changes.
Some of these will be subtle while others may well be more ground shaking—
and likely due to outside circumstances. Here are examples that we think you