January 14, 2007
Predictions for projects to watch for in 2007
A new year always brings an opportunity to think about the future, to ask, "what's coming next?" Which vacant real estate site will be converted next to an inviting "people place?" What historic landmark or aging commercial structure past its prime will be rehabilitated to display new charm and character?
It's almost impossible for us to predict exactly which new real estate concepts will come to fruition in
We don't need a crystal ball to predict the slowdown in residential construction during 2006 will continue through 2007. While some real estate prognosticators foretell a turnaround in the market, it will take some time for large new residential developments approved in Fairfield during 2005 and 2006 (for example, The Villages at Fairfield and the Garaventa project near the Community College in Cordelia) to begin construction. During 2006,
Despite the slowdown, a framework for future residential growth is being laid. The planning process in the proposed Fairfield Train Station area will be completed during 2007, an environmental impact report for the
The commercial market will remain stronger in
The big question is demand for these rooms absent major new employers in the area. Nonetheless, the city's Economic Development Division gets frequent calls from hotel developers interested in vacant sites for potential hotels. Given Fairfield's location at a transportation node with major highways, a key military base and projected business and residential growth, it is likely someone, somewhere will announce an interest in building a hotel in Fairfield during 2007, although we don't foresee any new projects actually breaking ground.
The Fairfield Auto Mall has shaped up to be the county's top performer and 2007 will see improvements at the northern end (near Home Depot) as the city reconstructs and widens the street and buries the utilities. Fairfield Ford has already opened its new showroom at Chadbourne and
Will Wal-Mart begin construction during 2007? That's probably the biggest single question on the 2007 retail scene. Even if construction of the new building doesn't occur in '07, we anticipate the existing buildings will be demolished this year.
Another demolition we foresee this year is the vacant building on the southwest corner of
Yardbird's vacated its building a couple years ago, and we predict plans will be announced for the space. We expect several smaller tenants will be announced, not a single anchor.
24-Hour Fitness is under construction of its new health club at the mall and we predict there will be an announcement for retail tenants for its current space at
In January 2008, we will check in to see if we did OK with our predictions, or if we were really, really wrong.
Economic Notes is an update from