It Starts with a Square

Economic Development Trends in 2018

BY Anna Bell

If “economic development growth on all fronts” best described the 2017 Collierville environment, expectations for 2018 can be best described in seven words: cautious-optimism-for-more-of-the-same.

Well-Positioned Suburban Office Markets

Suburban office markets, like Collierville, that offer a range of housing choices along with desirable amenities – including retail and restaurant options, open space, parks, trails, great schools, an educated workforce, and low crime – are well-positioned to capture the interest of organizations requiring redeveloped and refined space. The local and regional office market has been one of “musical chairs” these last several years (Orgill from Germantown and Mueller from Southwind, for example). This trend will slow, but with over 500 acres of developable land zoned for office in one of the most desirable communities in the Mid-South, Collierville is uniquely positioned for future office growth.

Increasing Demand for Smaller Industrial Space

One key question in the industrial sector over the last several years has been, “Can new construction keep up with industrial real estate demand?”  Most of the industrial buildings, developed or currently in development in Shelby, Fayette, and Marshall Counties are massive — in the 500,000 to 1,000,000+ square foot range.  Just drive south on US 72 to the Gateway Global Logistics Center to see some examples of this product. Local real estate experts will tell you, however, that the vacancy rate in Shelby County and the surrounding areas for small to mid-sized users in the 50,000 to 200,000 square foot range is thin, creating demand and driving up rents. With over 300 acres of developable land zoned industrial, most located at the I-269 / SR-385 / US 72 crossroads, Collierville has the land and access perfectly tailored for smaller industrial space.

Retail is Changing, but Certain Sectors Continue to Thrive  

The “Amazon Effect,”  coupled with demographic changes and macroeconomic factors, has created pressure on the retail industry.  Online shopping is increasing, representing over 8% of total retail, but almost 30% of the total retail growth. The economic powerhouse, Baby Boomers, is aging out, however, Millennials are just now entering their prime spending years. Retail sales are up with convenience/gas, home goods, furniture, cosmetics, restaurants, and mass merchants thriving, whereas sporting goods, department stores, electronics, clothing, and shoes are lagging. With over 400 acres of commercial land available in a town that has just recently passed the “magical 50,000 population line” (music to commercial developers’ ears), we anticipate restaurant, mixed-use, and experiential retail growth.

Schools, Security, and Amenities Drive Residential Development and Sales

Just about every housing market measurable paints a picture of strong residential growth and activity in Collierville. 2,500 new residents in the last 5 years, 667 residential building permits issued since 2014, $86,000,000 of residential construction value in 2017, up $11,000,000 from 2016, and the new $93,000,000 / 450,000 square foot Collierville High School are just some examples. There are many reasons families and individuals choose Collierville. The town works hard and remains focused on sustaining quality in public safety, infrastructure, excellence in education, superior parks, green space, and facilities. I look forward to welcoming new friends to our community in 2018!        

John D. Duncan

Director of Economic Development


May/June 2020 Tour Collierville Magazine