Joe Rowley with Bob Richard, NAIOP Upstate New York preisdent.
While job growth in Rochester and Western New York is somewhat stagnant, the view for commercial real estate developers is moving in the right direction according to Joe Rowley, Managing Broker, SVN | Realty Performance Advisors, who delivered his Rowley’s Rochester Report 2018 to NAIOP members and guests at Locust Hill Country Club on Jan. 25.
“Retail, office and industrial vacancies are down,” Rowley said. “It is great to see the revitalization. Some spaces that have been vacant for a decade are now occupied.”
Over the last 18 months, Rowley and the team at SVN have generated over $50 million in sales and leasing.
Rowley said dozens of Rochester-area businesses are expanding, going through a laundry list of developments in Rochester and its surrounding suburbs:
General Electric announced it will keep its Rochester plant open, retaining all 90 employees. “We have a lot of high tech individuals in the workforce, a great testament to the Rochester market.”
About 2,000 new residential units are coming online in Rochester. “While it’s a pretty minimal amount,” Rowley said the new housing products are focusing on amenities, which renters are looking for.
Eastman Business Park has about 60 tenants. “When you add up the former Kodak companies, there are still 20,000 to 30,000 employees there.”
Rowley said bonuses being handed out by U.S corporations (a result of the federal tax cut) could impact Rochester commercial real estate developers: “I think there is going to be a trickle down, hopefully in New York state. We are open for business. It’s a question of how competitive we can be against the rest of the country.”