The market for medium-sized surfaces has reached 179 million euros of investment in 2020 compared to 43 in 2019, according to data from Savills Aguirre Newman collected in the report Medium Surfaces in Spain. Following in the wake of European models, the sector is introducing innovations that have turned parks into open shopping centers where medium-sized surfaces, shops, restaurants and other elements associated with leisure and free time coexist. Likewise, promoters and brands are introducing new services that create a new connection with the consumer and increase the number of visitors and the average stay.
Savills Aguirre Newman foresees that 2021 will be a year of evolution in which the development of 7 commercial parks totaling 116,393 m² is planned. The report indicates that the commercial parks sector already accounts for a large part of commercial developments in Spain. In 2020, 63% of the total surface area opened corresponded to this format.
The real estate consulting firm points out that the prominence gained during the health crisis has reinforced the image of a format with a journey and great capacity to adapt to adverse economic situations. "Its good location, spaces and wide range have been some of the main reasons why this format has continued to function well despite temporary closures and mobility limitations," explained Patricia Matias, National Retail Director Services at Savills Aguirre Newman.
The main new developments of commercial parks are hybrid models where there are not only medium-sized surfaces, but smaller premises, leisure and other premises with alternative uses.
The degree of maturity of the shopping center sector in Spain has led to the development of new shopping centers or the repositioning of current ones through the inclusion of mixed-use formats. Headquarters of public organizations, conference rooms, museums, clinics or even coworkings, will be some activities that can benefit from the good location and accessibility of commercial parks, providing a solution to the chronic unemployment of some assets, creating important synergies between all.
From the consumer's perspective, these new uses are very attractive since they centralize public services, offices, last mile, commerce and restaurants in the same space, to satisfy their personal and professional needs, especially in peripheral areas.
“Today the retail park sector is under development. Their high occupancy levels and the significant weight of prestigious brands make them very solid projects with a long history in the market, ”says Alicia Corrales, Associate Analyst at Savills Aguirre Newman.
The development of new retail park formats has led to the emergence of new operators that have made their foray into this market, such as Dock 39 or Millby, which have diversified the offer, turning the assets into a more attractive destination with a greater variety of activities.
"Despite the slowdown in activity during the pandemic, commercial and medium-sized parks will continue to be considered the second type of product most in demand by investors, after supermarkets," as explained by Salvador González, National Director Retail Investment at Savills Aguirre Newman . According to the report, new operations of medium-sized urban commercial parks are expected in 2021, in which convenience will play a main role and where new additional uses to retail will appear that will diversify investment.
Regarding returns, the report estimates that prime commercial parks would reach a stabilization yield of 5.5%, urban parks in main cities could reach a yield below 6%, while the dominant product in a secondary city it would be around 6% to 7%.