As it is in most cities in the Midwest, the retail sector is having its ups and downs in Louisville.
According to the latest Marketbeat report from Cushman & Wakefield|Commercial Kentucky, there is plenty of both good and bad news in the Louisville retail sector.
On the good side? Commercial Kentucky reported that top-performing retailers such as Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Five Below have all opened new stores in the Louisville metropolitan area during the last several months. At the same time, landlords in the region are succeeding with fitness and entertainment concepts.
An example? Commercial Kentucky reported that Planet Fitness is opening two new stores in the Louisville market in early 2020, bringing the company’s total store count in the metropolitan area to 20. Fitness franchises F45 and Shred415 are also opening new locations in eastern Louisville. On the city’s southwest side, Crunch Fitness opened its first Louisville location on Dixie Highway, one of the busiest corridors in the metropolitan area.
Entertainment retailers are doing well here, too. Commercial Kentucky reported that Lexington, Kentucky-based Malibu Jack’s filled one of the largest vacancies on the city’s east side with its lease of a shuttered 130,000-square-foot former SUper Walmart late last year. The indoor theme park, which offers go-kart tracks, mini golf and arcade games, has operated in Louisville since 2016. The company needed to expand to its new space, though, after outgrowing its previous 70,000-square-foot location.
Commercial Kentucky says there is not much speculative retail development, but did point to some bright spots in the market. jeffersonville Town Center West, a 184,663-square-foot regional shopping center in nearby Jeffersonville, Indiana, has been fully leased by local developers the Koetter Group. The center, anchored by Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods and Petco, sold at the end of 2019 for $30 million.
In the southeast Louisville neighborhood of Fern Creek, the speculative Southpointe Commons development is seeing some momentum. Originally planned to be anchored by Lowe’s, ownership has changed course and is now lining up a roster of national soft-goods retailers.
Of course, there are challenges in Louisville’s retail market, too. Saks Off Fith and Bose are both closing stores at the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass just outside Louisville in Simpsonville, Kentucky. Both companies are original tenants of the property that was built in 2014.
In downtown Louisville, the hospitality sector is thriving. At the close of 2019, a dual-branded Moxy/Hotel Distil opened on Whiskey Row. This project adds 315 hotel rooms to downtown Louisville, along with rooftop lounges, a 24-hour Zombie Taco location and a new steakhouse. On Market Street at the edge of the NuLu neighborhood, construction continues on the Cambria Hotel, which is expected to open by the second quarter of 2020.