Commercial real estate market looking up in metro Tulsa
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Friday, November 09, 2012
11/09/12 at 4:16 AM
Patrick Coates and other speakers at Tulsa Trends, the annual look at commercial real estate, presented something a little different this year - good news.
"It's been brutal, but things are improving and better things are on the horizon," Coates said.
The conference, held Thursday at Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills, was presented by the Tulsa chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.
Carl Vincent of Ruffin Properties said major downtown landowners are putting their properties up for sale in greater numbers.
"There were more buildings for sale downtown than there have been at any time over the last 10 years," he said.
Vincent said the volume of properties for sale should help attract national buyers, but an announcement this week that John and Stuart Price have acquired a stake in the 2 million-square-foot Kanbar Properties portfolio may take some or all of those buildings off the market.
Vincent did note that, of the Kanbar buildings, the Arco Building at Sixth Street and Cincinnati Avenue is under contract to be sold to Wiggin Properties and the Avanti Building at Eight Street and Cincinnati is under contract to an unspecified buyer.
Additionally, the building at 110 W. Seventh St., which is not part of the Kanbar portfolio, is under contract to sell.
A recent report from real estate data firm Xceligent indicates that metro Tulsa office vacancies continue to decline, and as of Sept. 30 were under 20 percent for the first time this year.
Coates, head of Coates Commercial, said leasing activity for local industrial properties was slow through last spring but has picked up in recent months. Even bulk warehouses, which had lagged in leasing, have attracted more activity.
Xceligent's third-quarter report indicates industrial vacancies have also fallen throughout the last year, and have just dipped below 9 percent. Coates said that trend should continue.
"If you've survived, you're going to improve," he said.
Coates noted that nearly all current industrial construction is centered at the Greenhill Distribution Center, a 72-acre tract immediately east of U.S. 169 at 46th Street North.
Mendy Parish of CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma said retail vacancies have nudged up slightly and should remain stagnant in the coming months.
"I don't expect there will be a lot of change in the year-end report," she said.
In the last CBRE retail report, vacancies on June 30 had climbed to 13.8 percent from 13.6 percent at the start of the year.
Though retailers are asking for lower rent in exchange for a renewal and little construction is under way, most vacant big-box retail spaces have been filled.
"Most of the closings we've gotten have gotten another tenant almost immediately," Parish said.
She said businesses continue to build stores near Tulsa Hills, with Panda Express and Ted's Cafe Escondido planning new locations at the shopping center.
Additionally, full-service restaurant concepts are beginning to consider the downtown area for the first time, Parish said.
John Miller of Case & Associates said there's a groundswell of apartment construction, with approximately 3,400 new units planned in the area.
"There's a lot of product coming onto the market, which is a challenge," he said.
But he said he was optimistic that the area would avoid becoming overbuilt because the new construction is spread out across the metro area.
Original Print Headline: Commercial real estate looking up
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
The Avanti Building at Eighth Street and Cincinnati Avenue is among downtown properties under contract to be sold. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World file