MoCo Economy Watch has written some interesting blogs about the retail and commercial real estate sector in Montgomery County as well as about our economy.
A recent post, titled “BIG TECH IS SHOWERING THE REGION WITH INVESTMENT…MIRACULOUSLY, MO CO REMAINS DRY” talks about the small percentage of real estate investment from the big tech firms compared to our neighbors in DC and Virginia. Here’s tidbit from this article:
For comparison’s sake, Amazon’s regional footprint is larger than the size of the entire Silver Spring commercial real estate footprint (7.4 million square feet of office, 3.1 million square feet of retail). You’d think that some of that bounty would just fall into our laps, given the more than 5 dozen leases and an enormous (and growing) real estate footprint. And yet, by my count, the total Mo Co real estate footprint of the behemoth is only 0.9% of its regional total.
Another big tech firm that is gobbling up real estate across the DMV is Microsoft. Overall, it appears that Microsoft’s real estate footprint in the region is 2.8 million square feet and growing. Montgomery County’s share? Try 53,000 square feet, down about 60% from a few years ago, and representing only 1.9% of Microsoft’s regional real estate footprint.
Another recent post titled RETAIL SALES IN MO CO: CAN WE TURN IT AROUND? focuses on the quality and sales productivity of the retail space in Montgomery County.
Based on U.S. Census defined retail categories, the average retailer in Fairfax is earning $400,000 more than in Montgomery County! In fact, in just about every major retail category – other than Miscellaneous Retailers and Health & Personal Care Stores, i.e., your CVS or local hair salon – the sales productivity for the average business is significantly higher across the Potomac. Aside from the County having $2.75 billion less in retail sales to tax than Fairfax, this table brings to light many of the larger challenges to Montgomery County’s business climate as well.