Retail for Beginners

For commercial investors who are just starting out, smaller retail properties present a great opportunity.

September 1, 2009

"There's no better time to purchase a $1 million to $2 million in-fill retail property than today," says Benjamin Greazel, director of Cohen Financial's Chicago office. "Look for a property where the owner may be in trouble but where the property is performing well."

Retail owners may be willing to sell smaller properties to provide cash to help keep larger ones afloat. Or they may simply want to lessen the distraction of the smaller properties in their portfolios, he says.

Another benefit of smaller deals: greater availability of financing at lower amounts, says Graezel. Still, to secure a loan, new investors will probably need a co-guarantor for the loan—unless they have a significant amount of net worth, he says.

Graezel spoke as part of a workshop on "Credit Crisis: Difficulties and Opportunities" sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers' Chicago chapter of the Next Generation Program. The Next Generation program focuses on networking and knowledge-sharing among younger commercial real estate practitioners.

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