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  • Writer's pictureColliers | Columbus


Written by: Gilli Zofan

Gilli Zofan brings over 14 years of experience to the real estate industry focusing on both the leasing and sale of retail properties. To date, Gilli has completed over 600 transactions totaling over $200M. His vast knowledge of the industry makes him an expert in the field. Keep reading to get Gilli’s take on the future of adaptive reuse in retail.

With industrial activity rising, there has been a lot of talk about the potential repurposing of vacant retail sites into last-mile warehouse spaces. What are your thoughts on the future of this trend? Do you think Columbus will see this more moving forward, and why?

This will happen, but not as easily as many would think. There are often a lot of restrictions in larger centers, and to turn a retail space into pure warehouse space can also be challenging without the right amount of truck docks or ceiling heights that most warehouse operators require. However, I do think we will continue to see the best operators continue to utilize their retailer stores for order fulfillment via order pickup and/or return in store or shipping from the stores. However, I expect them to still maintain a traditional retail storefront for the customer experience to happen.

Do you think retail will see any other developing trends relating to adaptive reuse?

Yes. Prior to the pandemic there was a large shift towards experiential retailers, from trampoline parks to local favorites such as Pins Mechanicals or Other World over at our listing, Chantry Square. Unfortunately, the pandemic has hit those operators very hard, along with the big box fitness category. Thankfully in a strong market like Columbus, we continue to see positive momentum, and so long as the location is strong, the big boxes will get absorbed and reused. In many cases it will continue to be discount, off-price apparel, but we have also seen significant interest from large medical users to join retail centers.

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