Commercial real estate market holding strong

January 4, 2008

Whether you tried to buy or sell a home in 2007, homeowners across the country felt the housing bust.  But the other side of the real estate market, commercial real estate, didn’t feel the punch. Locally, commercial projects continue to pop-up. Trease Walden of Myrtle Beach believes in the Grand Strand and is putting her money up to prove it.Walden is thrilled about her new investment. She’s banking on the success of the new Surf’s Up Family Fun Center. It’s a 20-thousand square foot facility opening in mid-march in the middle of Carolina Forrest. Carolina Forrest is one of the fastest growing areas in the region. Walden says the state-of-the art project will top off at 4.2 million dollars, a sizeable investment in the community. “This is where my family is. I love it and this is where we’re going to stay. I want to put out money where we’re going to be,” said Walden.The project started on paper when the housing market was spiraling downward. Walden said they closely followed the ever-rising prices of materials and labor. So they worked hard to stay on budget. But they believe in their dream.“We just have to work with it. That’s the way the economy is going, we know that there’s going to be increases,” said Walden.  “You just have to feel the market out and do the best that you can.”Scott McNew, a commercial real estate agent, said continued growth and tourism helped keep the Grand Strand prosperous during the housing market crash.“The commercial market is strong today and doing well. It’s stabilized. I’m not seeing dips in the commercial pricing,” said McNew. “What we’re seeing is more moderate growth. Residential, we’ve seen a decline in prices. They’re off from what they were a year or two ago. Commercial has stabilized and is holding its own. Investor’s are a little more cautious now.”McNew said builders overbuilt nearly 30 percent above demand. So now, the area is playing catch-up with the more than a year’s worth of housing oversupply.However, the commercial side of the market must keep up with the population growth and build new structures like medical buildings and office space. McNew also said tourism should continue to push the commercial industry to build restaurants and retails stores 

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