Each Wednesday, The Wrap
presents a compilation of recent noteworthy commercial real estate stories from
a variety of publications. Below are five stories that caught our eyes in
recent days.

“At
ICSC, New Concepts, New Approaches”
by Natalie Dolce of GlobeSt.com.

GlobeSt.com is covering the events at ICSC RECon 2013 in Las
Vegas this week, reporting on the trends that retail industry executives are discussing
at the conference.

Financing for retail projects continues to improve as the
economy improves, even in secondary and tertiary markets, Patrick Crandall of
C&W told GlobeSt.com during his firm’s reception. 

Gary Mozer of George Smith Partners told the outlet that
lenders are looking past “quantitative basics” when determining whether to
finance an asset.

“Today, lenders are much more focused on the longevity of
the asset’s income stream and are delving deeper into the long-term viability
of a retail property’s tenants,” Mozer said.

A running theme throughout many RECon discussions has been
brick-and-mortar retail’s resilience over Internet shopping, Dolce reports.
Retail centers that offer a “human experience” that can’t be replicated online
will do well, said Craig Killman of Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Retail
Development Back on the Horizon”
by Elaine Misonzhnik of National Real
Estate Investor.

As the retail real estate market continues to improve,
industry players are beginning to conceive new projects, Elaine Misonzhnik
reports from RECon.

Publicly traded REITs like Taubman Centers and Regency
Centers are in the planning stages for new centers. These new centers will most
likely be in urban markets with smaller footprints, Misonzhnik reports.

Even smaller regional developers have been thinking about
new projects that could start within the next few years, according to Misonzhnik.

“Retail
Rent Growth Finally Takes Root Across U.S. Metros”
by Randyl Drummer of
CoStar.

Quoted asking rents are finally rising across all retail
property types for the first time since 2008, according to CoStar’s “First
Quarter 2013 Retail Review and Outlook.”

This growth is a result of more than two years of recovery
in the sector’s operating fundamentals, according to CoStar real estate
economist Ryan McCullough.

CoStar expects retail construction to increase some in 2013.
Outlet centers are the first wave of new development, with six centers across
the country under construction and about another dozen in planning, Drummer
reports.

“Restaurants,
Luxury Tenants Are Once Again in Expansion Mode”
by Elaine Misonzhnik of
National Real Estate Investor.

The retail real estate market is gaining traction, but
leasing activity and aggressive expansion are still more prevalent in larger,
urban markets, according to leasing executives attending RECon.

Restaurants, luxury retailers and apparel sellers have been
among the most active tenants at high-end retail sites in metro New York, Francis
X. Scire Jr. of Simon Property Group told Misonzhnik.

Kemper Development reports lots of interest from high-end
retailers like Tesla Motors, Microsoft and Apple, at The Bellevue Collection, the
firm’s Class-A property in Bellevue, Wash.

But for retail properties in many secondary and tertiary markets,
conditions aren’t as favorable. Some shopping centers built during the boom in
markets like Atlanta will have to be redeveloped for other uses, according to
Scott Prigge of Regency Centers.

“Construction
Picks Up across South, Metro Atlanta”
by Douglas Sams of the Atlanta
Business Chronicle.

The southern region of the United States — stretching from
Texas to Georgia and up to the Carolinas — has a construction backlog of 9.3
months, the longest backlog of any U.S. region, according to recent data from
the Associated Builders and Contractors.

The backlog gauges construction work that will be performed
by industrial and commercial contractors in the coming months, Sams reports.

Atlanta has seen construction demand pick up in the housing,
retail and industrial sectors, Sams reports. The new Falcons stadium slated for
Atlanta could be a major catalyst for new development in the city’s downtown
core, he adds.