The Year Just Started

Economy. Even with the tariff issue and impeachment proceedings, the first 20 days of the 2020-year economy is off to a roaring start as the stock market indices show strong increases—the DOW (28,538 to 29,348), the NASDAQ (8972 to 9388) and the S&P 500 (3230 to 3329). In the first two weeks of 2020, an agreement with China was put in place and signed. This Phase 1 document has given lift to those U.S. companies and farms who are in constant trade with China. These measures should continue to provide for a positive broadening of the stock markets. The positive economy should translate into more dollars for the American consumers.

Apartments. In the U.S., the apartment/multi-family housing continues to accelerate. Some studies project the number of market rate apartments to increase in 2020 by as much as fifty percent (50%) over the number opened in 2019. That makes an increase not seen in the U.S. in over thirty years. In a different, yet related, market Jim Wilson & Associates affiliate, 42 Equity, a company focusing on affordable housing, currently has projects, both existing and underway, in Texas, Alabama, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Driving this multi-family construction are several factors: (1) the need for more housing due to a lack of single family housing, (2) high cost of land, (3) high cost of construction (both for (i) single family housing, thereby pressing buyers out of the market in some locations in the U.S., and (ii) apartments), (4) lack of desire to own a home and (5) the growth of urban living in larger metropolitan areas in the U.S. Developers of retail will look to take advantage of the continued apartment building boom by locating service-oriented retail (grocery store anchored retail) and entertainment, that includes predominantly restaurants, nearby.

Retail. In the retail development business, the smaller shopping centers are still finding traction with tenants, lenders, and buyers who are looking for income generating assets. Jim Wilson & Associates and its affiliated company, JWA Ventures, are both well positioned with an excellent portfolio in the Southeastern U.S. of projects under development that include single store build-to-suit projects up to mixed-use grocery store anchored developments. Jim Wilson & Associates has a Publix anchored shopping center under construction in Macon, Georgia and scheduled to open in Summer 2020. In addition, with a ground breaking in Henry County, Georgia, JWA has officially commenced construction of another Publix anchored shopping center, scheduled to open in Spring 2021. Visit the JWA website, for more information.

Office. The best office space occurs where business is thriving. For example, in Huntsville, Alabama, Jim Wilson & Associates and its development partner and leader, Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT), continue their successful project, Redstone Gateway, a mixed-use office, R&D, data and retail community, with new developments, both within the security of Redstone Arsenal (i.e. behind the gate) and immediately adjacent to the Arsenal. So far, Redstone Gateway has over 650,000 square feet of office space completed and occupied and over 569,000 additional under construction. The development allows tenants (i) to have proximity to its government customer, (ii) greater efficiency, as tenants can achieve employee densities, (iii) a higher quality work environment and (iv) a smaller footprint in new LEED certified buildings while advancing the mission of Redstone. Redstone Gateway’s most recent construction start is a 100,000 square foot building in a central location in the business park. Leasing inquiries can be directed to James Lomax at the COPT office in Huntsville and by email at