According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the construction of the upscale WestBend shopping center is on hold until the "economy recovers." That's right, this shopping center which once promised to vitalize the area will simply become a huge source of blight in Dallas-Fort Worth.
This is once again a casualty of the foreclosure and credit crisis facing us. As we have mentioned before on this blog, retailers are experiencing job losses , closing stores and going bankrupt. There are fewer retailers willing to put themselves at risk for bankruptcy by opening a store in a new, untested shopping center.
Right now, homeowners are suffering from foreclosure and other problems such as job losses, so they don't have as much money as before to spend with retailers, regardless of how "upscale" they are.
The article said:
Officials with Dallas Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co. said that they are still committed to the project, but that it may not be completed now until fall 2010 or spring 2011.
"These are unprecedented times in the economy and capital markets," said Tommy Miller, Trademark's senior partner. "We want to see things stabilize before we start really investing a lot more capital."
With all due respect to Mr. Miller, this may be wishful thinking. The amount of foreclosures and bankruptcies are predicted to increase not decrease and even if they taper off or stabilize the fallout will still be huge for the economy in 2010 and 2011.
It will take longer than 18 months to 24 months to recover from the amount of foreclosures and bankruptcies we are experiencing right now. And what about this developer's business? If this company is not building they are not making money. Will they still be in business a year or two from now or will they be one of the bankrupt commercial real estate companies?