As you look for commercial real estate, you may across the Walk Score® metric. Several studies have shown that a high Walk Score®, or walkability, adds value to a piece of commercial property and should be considered on your shortlist. Walkability is based on several factors, such as proximity to public transportation and parking, as well as access to sidewalks, safety, traffic conditions, land use, and much more. Here are three distinct benefits of a high Walk Score® for commercial real estate.
Higher Property Value
Research has shown that a high Walk Score® strongly correlates with higher property values. If you are purchasing commercial real estate to rent out to retailers and other businesses, you can expect higher rent rates from your tenants. These same properties demonstrate increased values year after year, so if you decide to sell your commercial real estate, the chances are good that you will sell higher than the original purchase price. All these factors make commercial real estate with high walkability sound business investments.
Increased Retail Sales
High walkability in an area directly translates into more foot traffic, and foot traffic means that more people are passing by your business each day. Some studies have shown that even small improvements to pedestrian and bicycle access increased retail sales by almost 50% on average. The same study found that these improvements also decreased vacancies in commercial spaces, and the higher number of businesses brought more consumers to the area.
Excellent Investment Opportunities
As you consider the walkability of a specific commercial real estate piece, you should factor in the potential for future development. The expansion of walkable areas is an excellent way to attract more people to your property and entice new tenants to set up a business. As the desire for more outdoor time and leisurely lifestyles continues to evolve, people want to spend less time in their cars and more outdoors. Choosing commercial real estate that can evolve on this level is a sound investment decision now and in the future. Using this approach, you can provide your tenants and their customers with an “open space” experience within an urban setting. This is not only attractive to people in general but also retail businesses.