Over the past several years, the Walnut Creek housing market has been super hot. A key contributor to this has been the downtown atmosphere/community. Downtown Walnut Creek has a neighborhood shopping environment that is comprised of 13 different shopping communities. These areas have each gone through several positive and negative impacts with the biggest one being the expansion of Broadway Plaza over the past several years. What does the landscape look like right now?
Increased Vacancy Rates
While the impact seems slight, there has been a recent increase in vacancies within the retail landscape of Walnut Creek. As Broadway Plaza expanded, excess space has increased causing landlords and business owners to re-think their approach to leasing. One of the trends that has expanded nationwide, including in Walnut Creek, is the temporary presence of online retailers during the holidays in brick and mortar locations. This has allowed these online retailers to be able to showcase their wares in a traditional format during the busiest time of year. For instance, thredUP has a temporary lease of the former H&M building at Broadway Pointe. Amazon has also been adding kiosks throughout various malls in the East Bay.
The recent retail changes aren’t limited to goods, but are also impacting the food world. Everyone loves a great meal, and the restaurant scene in Walnut Creek has become cut throat. Even though more residents are buying homes in Walnut Creek or even neighboring cities like Pleasant Hill or Lafayette, the shear number of restaurants is causing a change in the restaurant landscape. Recently, Sunol Ridge and Lark Creek have closed their doors. The Crogan’s Sports Bar & Grill and Stelle Bistro spaces have been vacant for a while now. Also, the intersection of Locust and Cypress, which used to be a premier restaurant destination, now only has Sauced to lay claim to. Incoming, we have a new sushi concept and a brewery moving into Walnut Creek in the near future.
All indications are that the retail climate in Walnut Creek will continue to be changing in 2018 with innovative new concepts and eateries coming. There’s even a virtual reality arcade in the works. As more people buy homes in Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill, they’ll see a plethora of high end shopping and amazing eateries. If you have specific questions about real estate, feel free to contact the Wucher Team to get them answered.