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5 Property Improvements to Increase Retail Real Estate Value in Small Towns

August 14, 2023
As small towns across America continue to experience growth and revitalization, commercial real estate investors have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this trend. “Opportunities increase in suburbia and rural markets as brands look to expand outside of urban areas,” explained MRP’s VP Real Estate, John Cusumano. “Modernizing and enhancing retail strip centers in small towns attracts these high-quality brands to expand their footprint in this overlooked asset class.” These property enhancements will boost value for retail real estate tenants in small towns, ensure your investments remain competitive in today’s market, and maximize returns.

1- Upgrading Storefronts & Facades

An attractive storefront can be a major draw for both tenants and customers. 95% of shoppers said the outside appearance of retail locations helps them decide where to shop. By investing in modern, visually appealing facades, property owners can set their retail spaces apart and create a welcoming environment that appeals to potential tenants and their consumers.


2- Improving Accessibility and Parking

Retail spaces with easily accessible parking for both customers and tenants is essential for success. Ample parking and enhanced accessibility features creates an inviting and inclusive space that caters to a diverse clientele.


3- Enhancing Energy Efficiency & Sustainability

Modern tenants and consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious. The CBRE U.S. Real Estate Market Outlook 2023, reported over 75% of consumers plan to purchase environmentally conscious products next year even if the goods are more expensive. Incorporating energy-efficient features such as LED lighting, efficient HVAC systems, and solar panels, reduces operating costs while creating a more sustainable and attractive retail environment.

4- Optimizing Floor Plans and Space Utilization

Adaptable and efficient floor plans are key to meeting the diverse needs of retail tenants in small towns. Flexible layouts and optimal space utilization will accommodate a wide range of businesses and maximize the property’s appeal to potential tenants.

5- Integrating Technology and Connectivity

In today’s digital age, reliable internet access and advanced technology are vital for businesses of all sizes. According to McKinsey & Co, enhancing a building’s digital capabilities can increase net operating income by more than 10%. To create a modern retail space, property owners should upgrade internet infrastructure, provide ample power outlets, and support the integration of smart building technology.

Making strategic property improvements is an effective way to increase the value of retail real estate investments in small towns. Focusing on upgrades that enhance aesthetics, accessibility, sustainability, adaptability, and connectivity will ensure retail spaces remain attractive to both tenants and customers. Implementing these improvements will help maximize returns and position your commercial real estate investments for long-term success.

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