Experience in the Exurbs

By Jason Bock

Today’s constant news coverage and social media chatter seem hyper-focused on the latest happenings in America’s cities and urban cores. With a wide repertoire of capabilities, we at MSC Retail, a leader in retail and restaurant real estate, want to take a step back and pay tribute to suburbia (did you catch our recent post on the revival of Main Street, USA?). Case studies of our past work, as well as the current sites we represent and our ever-growing tenant roster, attest to the continual development and evolution of the suburbs with restaurants, retail stores, grocers, entertainment venues, and fitness studios.

It’s no surprise that the housing market has been in recovery mode over the past few years. During this time, a number of reports showed that progress in suburbia and even its outermost ring, dubbed the “exurbs,” is alive and kicking. As described by Urban Land Institute a few years back, the exurbs of America saw more growth in the past decade than any other type of American region, with more than 6 million residents added. The influx of citizens inhabiting these areas has naturally led to more demand for retail and restaurant offerings. Another vital factor, highlighted by Washington Post, is that retailers in these areas have access to more readily available and often less expensive land, allowing for greater construction and parking compared to that in cities.

Over the past ten years, my professional tenure at MSC Retail has grown to include a large range of projects; from landlord representation in leasing lifestyle & power centers and grocery-anchored developments, to tenant representation for huge chain stores and small, entrepreneurial restaurants; I have a plethora of experience working in all sorts of consumer environments. Now a vice president, I am ecstatic to head a project that brings a dose of my daily attention to the Greater Delaware Valley Region with ALDI, the nation’s leading low-price grocer.

For the past year, MSC Retail has served as ALDI’s exclusive broker in the tri-state region. With a constant pulse on retail activity in the suburbs, we assisted ALDI in the acquisition of more than 60 former Bottom Dollar stores in the summer of 2014. This monumental investment will enable ALDI to open more than 20 new stores in the region before the close of 2015; a huge accomplishment for the brand and a great improvement to grocery offerings in the area.

New sites will be scattered across various suburbs in the region. In Pennsylvania, look for stores in Coatesville, Lansdowne, Levittown, Souderton, and Willow Grove. Additionally, New Jersey locations will include Bellmawr, Bordentown, Cherry Hill, East Windsor, Edgewater Park, Glassboro, Lumberton, Trenton, and Woodbury.

As Washington Post suggests, though recent generations typically begin their professional lives in cities, evidence indicates that suburbia will remain a top option when it comes to “settling down,” and raise the next generation. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.